Rural communities micro-study: information and access to health and social careDownload (PDF 4.25MB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch North Yorkshire carried out a microstudy examining how living in a rural community creates challenges in accessing health and social care services and information. They used interviews, engagement events and a survey to gain the views of people living in rural areas. Altogether they spoke to 67 people.
People feel more informed about local health and care services than national services, and most information is sourced through the local media or by word-of-mouth.
Transport is vital for accessing health and care services. One of the biggest concerns, as people get older, is the lack of access to transport. The lack of regular or reliable transport discourages use.
There is a strong sense of community in rural areas, which includes community groups and volunteering, who offer advice, support and information to the local population
The engagement for this project spanned the pandemic. They found that the Covid-19 pandemic created barriers for people accessing information, reinforced the fragility of transport in local communities, and limited the ability for community groups to share information.