Rurality: policy context

Many of the influences on health are better than the Scottish average in rural areas including lower crime, better satisfaction with the neighbourhood and greater volunteering. However, there are significant challenges to rural living and the provision of services in rural areas which require particular attention.

The Scottish Government has a rural development programme which funds a range of economic, social and environmental measures. It also supports a rural network and convenes a Rural Development Council to “consider how best rural Scotland can contribute to the creation of a more successful country, through increasing sustainable economic growth”. 

The vision for remote and rural health services is laid out in the report Delivering for Remote and Rural Healthcare: The Final Report of the Remote and Rural Workstream. Although only covering rural and island areas in the north of Scotland, the North of Scotland Planning Group has a range of reports and resources relevant to rural health and health service planning.