Posted: March 05th 2021


University of Lincoln Transformational Research Funding to Address Rural and Coastal Health Inequalities

The National Centre is delighted that the University of Lincoln has achieved a major research grant to look at rural and coastal inequalities. More information about the award can be read here. Professor Mark Gussy, who is a member of our board, will be leading this initiative and we look forward to an ongoing association with him as it progresses. 

Department of Health and Social Care Major Conditions Strategy

The National Centre in partnership with the Rural Coaltion submitted the following response to this important strategy, and you can read more here

Rural Proofing Toolkit

Work is now complete in partnership with Rural England CIC to develop a Rural Proofing Toolkit for health and social care. This work is being supported by the Nuffield Trust, and the Rural Services Network

John Wynn-Jones and Graham Biggs from the National Centre for Rural Health and Care are actively involved in supporting and developing this work.

You can download the toolkit here:

Rural health care - A rapid review of the impact of rurality on the costs of delivering health care

The Nuffield Trust was commissioned by the National Centre for Rural Health and Care to explore the key issues around the impact of rurality and sparsity on the costs of delivering health care.

The report can be read here.

Action Research

Community Pharmacy. A Joint project between Lincolnshire LIVES first responders and the pharmarcy department of Lincolnshire co-operative society is underway with funding from the National Centre. It aims to reduce A&E admissions by enhancing the advanced first aid skills of pharmacists. The outcomes will be evaluated by the university of Lincoln, and more information will follow in due course.

Research proposals. The National Centre has identified funding to support up to three small research proposals. It is currently considering applications on the themes of refugee doctors, coastal strategies for recruitment and retention, the challenges around retention of rural GPS, and the challenges facing dispensing doctors in rural settings.

New routes and opportunities for tackling recruitment and retention in health and care in rural areas

The second piece of research looking at recruitment and retainment issues in the NHS was completed in 2019. 

This involved:

Rapid evidence review – of the national literature pertinent to routes to securing new workers (and retaining them) for the health and care workforce in rural areas, including the role of developing more generic roles so that clinicians can work across professional boundaries. The review will extend to Australia and the USA (where there are some robust evaluations of workforce development programmes). The national work will involve capturing ongoing activity relevant to the health and care sector in local devolution deals and Government-funded innovative projects.

Defining routes – analysis of the evidence collected in the review in step ‘1’ to: (a) identify the range of routes which present opportunities for securing workers/ delivering services in support of health and care workers; (b) identify and assess the potential of, and practice in, developing more generic roles enabling (more junior) clinicians to work across professional boundaries.

Selection of case studies – purposive selection of case study initiatives/ practice for more in-depth analysis that are complementary to the linked Action Research projects that will be commissioned by the National Centre for Rural Health and Care.

Primary research – interviews with local stakeholders, strategic managers, delivery providers, workers/ volunteers, etc., to supplement background documentation on case study initiatives.

Interim analysis and reporting – analysing and writing up findings from steps ‘1’-‘4’ above.

Liaising and synthesis across projects – liaising with the action research projects and their evaluator to ascertain their progress and key findings in order to enable synthesis across different elements of the research.

Workshop/ event – bringing together learning from across the different elements of the project with stakeholders from a range of groups/ organisations with interests in workforce issues in rural areas.

Final reporting – production of a report and summary of findings and policy recommendations.

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