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Rural Healthcare Strategy

Volume 604: debated on Tuesday 5 January 2016

The “Five Year Forward View” published by NHS England sets out the healthcare strategy for the whole of England, including rural areas. Rural areas have their own health needs, which should be taken into account in planning and developing healthcare systems.

What specific research has the Minister undertaken in order to understand, and what steps has he taken to address, the very different needs and costs of rural communities in the south-west, which has disproportionately high numbers of over 85-year-olds and population distributions that make inflexible multi-speciality community providers and primary and acute care configurations unattainable?

The “Five Year Forward View”, written by Simon Stevens, takes particular account of rural areas, but of course not all rural areas are the same. It is down to clinical commissioning groups to judge the needs of their local areas and make sure that they are reflecting the specific circumstances in which they find themselves.