Those trusts which are unavoidably small due to their remoteness generally have high cost pressures, longer waiting times, more delayed transfers of care, higher average unit costs and a worse financial position. Of the seven most remote rural hospitals in England, six are in deficit.
The report emphasises that the cost of providing health care varies significantly across the UK due to a range of factors, such as differences in property and land prices, staff retention rates and population density, amongst others.
The report suggests that the particular challenges faced by remote services include:
Overall it argues that unless funding is calculated with these differences taken into account, there will be a widening gap in the quality of health services around the country.
→ The Telegraph - Patients living in the country get a raw deal from the NHS, study finds
→ Nuffield Trust - Rural and remote health services lose out on NHS funding
The National Centre for Rural Health has joined with the Rural Services Network (RSN) to launch the affiliated Rural Health & Care Alliance - a membership organisation dedicated to providing news, information, innovation and best practice to those delivering and interested in rural health and care across England.
The aim of the Alliance is to keep members informed of the National Centres’ activity and the related activity of the RSN on rural health and care and give them the opportunity to influence both organisations work. For more information about the Rural Health and Care Alliance, please contact Jon Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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