The National Centre for Rural Health and Care has been established as a Community Interest Company, national in scope with a HQ in Lincolnshire.
It acts as a governance vehicle for formal collaboration amongst partners interested in the four key drivers of impact in rural health and care, as well as influencing policy and strategy:
- Data – scoping and measuring the challenge and the response to it
- Research – identifying and testing what works
- Technology – shrinking distances between and adding to the human capacity in rural communities
- Workforce and Learning – making the case for rural settings as the location of choice for ambitious health and care professionals
Key activities of the centre include:
- Horizon scanning for good practice and to predict future issues/needs
- Brokering collaboration where innovation or good practice exists or can be stimulated
- Supporting the development of bids for funding or specific cases for private investment
- Supporting the piloting/testing of products and services
- Working to scale up effective products and services
- Evaluating the impact of products on services in addressing rural health challenges
- Through focused dissemination and networking generating wide scale adoption of what works
The scale of the population and the market for the national centre is huge – there are over 9 million rural residents according the 2011 Census, they represent around 18% of the population of England and are relatively older than their urban counterparts.
Understanding and responding to the health and care needs of such a large proportion of the population provides scope for significant savings to the public purse through preventive outcomes. Where these savings are driven out by commercial and social innovation there is the potential for significant income generation and jobs growth.
Current partners in the centre are: East Midlands Academic Health Science Network, Health Education England, Public Health England, Lincolnshire County Council, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, University of Lincoln, Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincolnshire Economic Action Partnership, the private sector and the voluntary and community sector.
To find out more about our partners, please see:
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust: www.ulh.nhs.uk
Rural Services Network: http://rsnonline.org.uk
University of Lincoln: http://www.lincoln.ac.uk