This study by the Rural England CIC points to the lower density of populations in rural areas preventing economies of scale in home care, the ‘penalty of distance’ in which health and care services are often further away and inaccessible by bus, and the fact that home care staff are often not paid travelling time despite having to travel further than in urban areas.
People in rural areas may often face a higher prevalence of fuel poverty and isolation.
The report says that, without action, vast numbers of vulnerable individuals risk being left without services. Rural councils pay on average 13 per cent more than urban ones when commissioning adult social care services. It calls for greater focus on rural-proofing in sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and for rural issues to be taken into account in the forthcoming green paper on adult social care.