RSN joins call for the Government to help rural communities in its new Major Health Conditions Strategy

As the Government reviews the responses to its Major Conditions Consultation, RSN has joined members of the Rural Coalition on calling for a tailored approach to rural areas’ specific needs.

At the beginning of the year, the Government asked for feedback on ways to improve the health of the nation and ease pressure on the health system.  This evidence will help inform the development of the Government’s Major Conditions Strategy which is designed to prevent, diagnose, treat and manage the groups of major conditions that contribute to ill health in England, namely:

  • cancers
  • cardiovascular disease (CVD), including stroke and diabetes
  • chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs)
  • dementia
  • mental ill health
  • musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders

Working in partnership with other Coalition members, RSN has submitted a response to this consultation with additional evidence highlighting why it is vital to consider intra-regional disparities, and to give them the same weight has inter-regional ones.

RSN Chief Executive, Kerry Booth, says:

“Simply taking a broad approach to the care needed for life changing illness doesn’t work.  The model of accessing both primary and secondary care is based on an urban model of delivery which doesn’t reflect rural life or the challenges the people living there face.  The reality is people who are experiencing some of these major conditions have to travel further, on low-quality transport to access the vital care they need.  The help and support at times for crisis is often inconsistent and the additional financial strains an illness can cause just adds to undue stress.

“To ensure everyone has access to the best possible care, this must be more than just new hospitals in urban centres.  The Government needs to understand the picture within regions, not between them.”

The Government is expected to publish an interim report later this summer.


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