Meeting of the Rural Social Care and Health Group - 9th April 2018

The Apologies list can be found here

The Attendance list can be found here

To download the agenda associated for this meeting, click here
To download these minutes for this meeting, click here

  1. Apologies for Absence

Members noted apologies for the meeting. A full list can be found here

  1. Minutes of the last Rural Social Care and Health Group 20.11.17

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

  1. Long Term funding of Adult Social Care Inquiry

Graham Biggs, RSN, outlined the current situation with regard to long term funding of Adult Social Care.  Members noted the response from RSN on the consultation and specifically on what it considers is currently wrong with the regime – especially from the rural perspective.  Members comments on the proposed government green paper included:

  • The response was good and concentrated on rural areas and their particular challenges;
  • The potential for employment opportunities for working age adults and their careers with disabilities living in rural environments should be included in future papers and members were invited to submit any evidence to RSN to be included in further responses;
  • Members were concerned about what the green paper would include and whether it would just refer to funding, therefore all avenues need to be prepared for;
  • Realistic expectations of what can be achieved in extreme rural areas need to be addressed and radical thinking is necessary;
  • Money needs to be used constructively. Thought has to be given as to the management of issues and would be best done at a local level;
  • It is vital that early intervention and prevention is stressed as a key to enable better and more efficient use of resources and improvements in the lives of residents;
  • Members referred to local interventions used within their own areas and agreed that sharing of best practice and ideas would be most useful;
  • Members agreed that empowering communities to take responsibility for caring in their own environments should be considered, although some felt that is was not a viable option without appropriate government funding;
  • Members felt that communities were best placed to input on housing and planning issues such as where care homes etc. be placed – central government must address this issue and consider allowing them to make decisions;

Members were concerned about urbanisation of funding formulas but were assured that rural MPs were determined to keep these issues on the agenda to ensure a fair distribution of funding. They noted future meetings planned between RSN and  the Rural Fair Share Group of MPs to further discuss these points. 

The group compared how fair funding for rural communities is achieved in other countries. Members suggested creation of a care package model specific for Rural Services might be a way forward in the future, however agreed that this might be a way off. They agreed opportunities to come up with a radical idea for self-caring of relations and neighbours and to make it cost effective.

The group agreed that there is currently a lack of awareness among the rural community. Mr Biggs notified members that points raised in the response would be publicised via various channels in due course. The focus at the moment must be on the fair distribution of funding although members felt that planning and sustainability need to be included in any response at a later point.

  1. To consider the results of the RSN internal consultation - priorities for the group

The group agreed that the responses to the questions posed were in determining the issues  to be  prioritised in future  RSN work 

  1. Regional Meetings / Seminars

David Inman updated members on the outcome of the two Regional Meetings/Seminars held to date. On a practical level, members noted the need for evidence – one way of doing this is to provide evidence on the amount of miles carers and medical staff - as well as patients – need to travel.

Mr Biggs suggested that members put forward case studies of examples of these difficulties and include additional cost and incidents of trauma related to the difficulties.

  1. Any other business

There was no other business and the meeting was closed.


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