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RSN make contact with the Government on exit strategy and the implications for rural communities

The Rural Services Network has written to The Rt Hon. Matthew Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care) along with other key rural organisations to open discussions regarding the Covid-19 exit strategy and the implications for rural communities.

Along with the Chair of the Rural Coalition, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), the National Centre for Rural Health and Care and the Rural Health and Care Alliance, the Chair of the RSN set out their concerns for rural communities post 'lockdown'.

The organisations have urged that spatial, both regional and urban/rural, factors are applied to the next phases of the national strategy and into an exit from the ‘lockdown’.
They highlight the vast differences in cases of the virus across different communities in the country.

The letter states, "There are a number of isolated rural communities, including in many cases coastal areas, with a very high incidence of frail and vulnerable people. Settlements such as these represent a particularly acute challenge for those leading the fight against the virus and risk being neglected in the rush to respond through large-scale high-volume measures. Whilst they may to an extent be protected by their relative isolation, if the virus takes hold in these places it will be very difficult to manage its impacts, especially given the relative lack of health and care services which many rural areas experience and which will affect their ability to cope with any major increase. We believe it is important that the particular challenge in these settlements is incorporated in national and local planning as our response proceeds."

The letter finishes by urging the Government to consider the suggestion that spatial, both regional and urban/rural, factors are applied to the next phases of the national strategy and into an exit from the ‘lockdown’.

The full text of the letter can be viewed here

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