Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Rural Road to Health

Jul 14, 2023

Pam Barrett has a background in social policy and is a co-founder of Be Buckfastleigh (Better Places), a community interest company set up to tackle health, social, and economic inequalities in Buckfastleigh and other small rural towns in Devon, UK.

Overview of episode:

00.55  Pam talks about her professional background and how she became more involved with rural areas

04.00  The importance of policy at keeping communities well

10.25  What is Be Buckfastleigh (Better Places) and the “attractor model”?

16.45  What population size is needed for policy impact and attracting funding?

24.00  What has Be Buckfastleigh (Better Places) identified as issues and how are they addressing the challenges?

30.15  How to engage rural communities?

42.30  How do you gather the evidence needed?

50.15  How has the project impacted the communities?

55.30  What are the key elements needed for sustainable rural communities?

1:02.50  A vision for the future of Better Places


Key insights:

A lot of policy and operational procedures are fractured between organizations, without a forward looking strategy.   

Keeping rural communities healthy and well as a solution to resolving challenges facing health systems.

We can not find any policies to keep rural communities healthy and well at present.

20% in England live in rural areas.

Deep pockets of deprivation being masked by relative levels of affluence of the surrounding areas. 

Rural communities need to be stepping up for themselves, this can be difficult.  Clustering of small communities can help.

Each community has its own nuances and set of priorities. 

Rural communities are not one homogenous group, a more distributed service delivery is essential.  

Each community has a “community organizer”, often a woman, it is important to engage these people.  

No money flowing into the provision of services for rural communities, a major challenge for many places. Always chasing funding, which is time consuming. 

Run things in places where people are and ask them what they want to do. 

Work with local businesses to build better relationships.

There is a lack of transport solutions, this affects people's ability to work. 

We need to look at rural innovation in service delivery. 

Respect the knowledge of the communities involved.

How we measure and gather evidence is important, data for rural communities is missing. 

Many people are not in the system as the system is no longer accessible to them. 

The importance of looking and the indices of multiple deprivation and how it could be skewing the evidence. 

You can not socially prescribe to activities that do not exist, there has not been any money set aside to develop the activities and services needed. 

A rural strategy is vital to being able to develop stable and good quality services for rural communities. 

“The Attractor Model”


Facebook - Better Places- Be Buckfastleigh


Email Pam at: 

Thank you for listening to the Rural Road to Health -