Suffolk is a relatively wealthy county, with areas of deprivation in some town centres and rural areas. The rural population is older than in urban areas due to the younger population moving towards urban centres for education and job opportunities.
What was the problem?
PHAST was commissioned by Suffolk County Council to undertake a needs assessment to explore the characteristics of rural deprivation from various perspectives such as geographical, public health and sociological in order to inform and support greater collaboration between health and social services.
How did PHAST help?
The PHAST report described rural deprivation in Suffolk and highlighted the difficulties of providing integrated health and social care to rural populations. PHAST found several reasons such as isolated populations requiring health and social care workers to travel long distances to visit people who requires services and similarly many people are far from community and primary care services. They also found poor public transport systems that were expensive.
What was the Impact?
The needs assessment led to a number of recommendations on how to reduce deprivation in rural areas of Suffolk such as identifying and targeting the support to the most isolated rural areas and reviewing the voluntary sector organisations.