The impact of our ageing population is being hard felt in rural communities across the country as demand for health and care provision continues to grow. The recent funding injection announced by the Government as part of the NHS long-term plan is to be welcomed but significant challenges remain. In addition, we are still waiting for the Government to publish its adult social care Green Paper, which most commentators agree is now long overdue. Ministers need to pick up the pace if they are to develop a coherent cross-government response to our longevity which turns associated challenges into positive opportunities.
People who live in isolated rural areas must be empowered to play an active part in designing appropriate and responsive health and care services. In particular, the success of the Government’s health and care tech strategy will be predicated upon the extent to which it is genuinely user-led.
This inquiry response is informed by our own research findings, consideration of new and emergent technologies, and health and care initiatives that are already in place, under development or being piloted at this time.