DDA members are reminded of the DDA 2019 General Election resources.
- Six questions to ask at local Hustings events
- Template letters to send to election candidates from the practice and from patients
- Template newspaper letters
- Website resources
Among the issues to be raised is the need to include dispensing practices in the review of reimbursement. Other priorities include:
- Health funding: Rural and urban areas receive similar funding (per resident) under the NHS allocations to CCGs, but this does not reflect the older rural demographic, which places extra demand on NHS services. Rural residents also face an additional cost burden for the adult social care provision in their areas. They fund over 20% more of the cost of its provision through their Council Tax bills than their urban counterparts.
- Transport: During 2016/17 alone, 202 bus services were withdrawn altogether in shire areas. People of all ages must have the means to travel to services, jobs and for social purposes
- Broadband connectivity: In England’s rural areas 15 per cent of premises are unable to access broadband connection with the speed regulator, Ofcom, considers necessary for everyday online tasks.
The Rural Services Network says there is a “systematic lack of recognition in Central Government for the additional costs and policy challenges in providing services in rural areas and the urgent need for this to be addressed by the new political intake.
“More than nine million people live in England’s rural areas – a greater number than in Greater London – and yet rural communities are rarely a focus of Government decision-making. In the 2019/20 Settlement Funding Assessment for local government services, urban authorities received 66 per cent (£119) more per head than their rural counterparts.”