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28 September, 2002
NFU TO WORK WITH HEALTH AUTHORITIES TO BOOST CONSUMPTION OF FRUIT AND VEG
The NFU has written to dozens of health authorities across England offering to work with them to help boost consumption of fruit and veg in their area.
Government nutritional advisors recommend that we eat an average of five portions of fruit and veg every day.
The New Opportunities Fund of the National Lottery is offering a total of £10 million to Primary Care Trusts - the bodies within which local GPs and health visitors work - to help them meet this target and the NFU is keen to play a key
role. NFU Horticulture Chairman Michael Holmes has contacted 67 Primary Care Trusts that have been invited to bid for funding to explore how "five-a-day" fruit and veg initiatives can be set up locally.
Mr Holmes said: "Not only is it good for the health of local communities to eat more fruit and veg, but anything that increases consumption is bound to have a positive spin off for British growers.
We are aiming to explore ways in which growers and health care trusts can work together using the lottery money with the ultimate aim of boosting the market for British produce."
If there is sufficient interest from Primary Care Trusts, the NFU aims to hold a series of regional seminars to explore possible initiatives, many of which could be focused around schools.
Primary Care Trusts which are interested in working with the NFU on "five-a-day" initiatives should contact David Brown, NFU Chief Horticultural Advisor on 020 7331 7305 or email him at email@example.com.
THE INSTITUTE OF RURAL HEALTH
GUIDE LAUNCHED FOR RURAL HEALTH SERVICE PLANNERS
People in the English countryside can find it hard to access local health services - for example over nine out of 10 rural settlements don't have a doctors surgery or out-reach surgery*.
A guide to planning rural health services has been launched as part of a Rural Health Week, to help those drawing up local health policy to account for the needs of rural people and areas.
'Think Rural Health', published by the Countryside Agency, the Institute of Rural Health (IRH), and the Rural Health Forum (RHF), is packed with information and examples of best practice to guide and inform Primary Care Trusts (PCTs).
The guide was launched by Dr Iain Mungall, Royal College of General Practitioners Rural Practice Group chairman and a member of the RHF, at a national Rural Doctors Conference.
"Many rural practices and patients are in the minority in their communities because the majority of people live in the cities and don't identify with issues that we see as important," said Dr Mungall, a GP in Bellingham, Northumberland.
"Rural issues are becoming increasingly important and this easy to read guide is a boost to get the message out to Primary Care Trusts, opinion formers and everyone concerned with rural health."
In a foreword to the guide, Hazel Blears, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health,
said (Ed: Blindingly obviously) "Primary care services are ideally placed to take a lead role in understanding the health needs of the local community.
This publication offers a timely and practical guide to assessing local health needs in rural areas and I welcome the contribution it will make in taking forward the health reform agenda."
Ewen Cameron, Chairman of the Countryside Agency, said the guide would be an essential tool for PCTs in delivering future health services to rural communities.
"Patients living in rural England have the same need for good quality, affordable and accessible services as their urban counterparts," he added. "I hope, therefore, that this guide will help address the needs of patients who live in rural areas and will help PCTs plan and promote better provision of services."
Dr John Wynn-Jones, IRH director and a rural GP, welcomed the new publication as it acknowledged the rural dimension to health and well being.
More information about the IRH and RHF, both based at Gregynog, near Newtown, is available through their websites at www.ruralhealthforum.org.uk and
24 September, 2002
the Royal closer to
The Royal Agricultural Society of
England (RASE) has been given a massive confidence boost from industry
support revealed by consultation with key participants after 2002 Royal
It is clear that the Royal Show
fulfils a unique role in providing a platform for British agriculture to
sell itself to its own industry, its customers including the wider
public and key players in the international forum. In addition, its
political significance is demonstrated by the number of Government and
other key politicians attending every year and The Royal Show achieves
the widest media coverage and greatest number of international visitors
of any countryside event.
But, determined to continue to
improve the Show and respond to their customers, the RASE have
considered options to make it easier for exhibitors and visitors to get
the best out of the Royal Show.
Announcing the first of several
key changes as plans are laid for the 2003 show Mike Calvert, RASE’s
Chief Executive, says: "First and foremost, the Royal Show will be
made more accessible to farmers and others by running from Sunday 29th
June to Wednesday 2nd July 2003. Sunday has for many years been mainly
restricted to media and in some ways has been a lost opportunity for
other visitors. The change in show days has won unanimous support as a
positive step to increase accessibility to the Royal Show as the national
& international flagship British farming event."
With many agricultural
businesses struggling to manage their way out of the industry’s
current difficulties and changing customer demands, knowledge transfer
has never been more important for Britain’s farmers. Societal changes
with more farmers and spouses deriving income from outside the industry
can limit their options for visiting on weekdays. Sunday opening will
also increase access to the general public with more opportunity for
farming to improve the industry profile and understanding of how food is
The Royal Show has always been
famous for its gathering of the best of British livestock. With the new
show days, there will be increased focus on this aspect with all the
competitors building towards the presentation of top awards on the
Wednesday. Mr Calvert comments: "With the new structure, I am
confident, we will create four days of British farming
9 September, 2002
THE INSTITUTE OF RURAL HEALTH
CONFERENCE TO FOCUS ON CHILDREN'S RURAL HEALTH ISSUES
The health of children and young people in rural areas across the UK will be in the spotlight at a national conference next month.
The conference, titled 'Climbing Mountains', is being organised jointly by the Rural Health Forum (RHF) and the Forum for Rural Children and Young People at Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh in Warwickshire on October 30.
The keynote speaker will be Professor Al Aynsley-Green, head of the Children's Task Force and there will also be wide participation by young people, including members of the South Shropshire Youth Forum, who are preparing a presentation for the event.
"Everybody involved in health is now working towards the National Service Framework for children and young people," said Kate Mitchinson, RHF co-ordinator at the Institute of Rural Health based near Newtown in Mid Wales.
"The conference will put forward meaningful suggestions about how agencies can best consult and communicate with children and young people.
We shall be looking at disadvantaged young people, the use of drugs, access to education and a wide range of different issues. It will be one of the biggest conference that we have held to date."
Andrew Brown, from the Forum for Rural Children and Young People, said: "We are all working together to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people in rural areas.
The conference will aim to get their voices heard by giving them a platform and encouraging their participation in policy matters that take account of their needs.
"There is a big agenda for change and it is important that rural areas are able to contribute to the debates, and to understand what is going on. This conference will be an important opportunity to take that process forward."
To attend the conference please contact Vicki Morris on 020 7843 6040 or fax 020 7843 6039 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
28 August, 2002
TOPICAL ISSUES TO BE DEBATED AT RURAL DOCTORS CONFERENCE
A varied programme blending clinical, management, health promotion and disease prevention issues has been organised for a major three-day conference in Mid Wales for rural doctors and other healthcare professionals in September.
The Montgomeryshire Medical Society's (MMS) 13th Annual Rural Doctors Conference is again being hosted at Gregynog, near Newtown from September 25-27 by The Institute of Rural Health (IRH), an organisation dedicated to optimising health and well being in rural communities across the UK.
The multi-professional conference, which will be addressed by top class speakers, will debate many of the burning issues facing General Practitioners as well as topics not previously covered.
"This year's conference will follow on from previous years by addressing current issues relevant to rural GPs," explained Dr Martin Green, MMS chairman.
"It is multi-disciplinary conference for the healthcare professions and by working together we can learn from each other and help out patients.
One of the sessions at this year's conference, for example, is titled "Pain strikes us all". GPs do get involved in treating pain and we need to keep up to date with the many new techniques and theories."
A proposed system of GP appraisals and revalidation, which is currently being debated, is likely to be a hot topic. It will be tackled by Dr Malcolm Lewis, acting sub-dean and director of the University of Wales College of Medicine (UWCM), Cardiff, who is heading a Welsh project.
New developments in information technology for GPs, including transferable patient records, is another issue that is sure to stimulate debate. Dr Roger Roycroft, a GP in Macclesfield, will address the issue by giving his personal experience.
More information about the conference is available from Ann Whale, MMS co-ordinator, on 01686 650800 or email@example.com.
11 July, 2002
Institute of Rural Health
ORGANISATIONS URGED TO SUPPORT RURAL HEALTH WEEK
People all over the UK are being urged to organise events highlighting health and social care issues to support Rural Health Week from September 23-27.
The Rural Health Forum is hoping that everyone will play their part in celebrating the week by arranging activites that address issues of health and well being in rural communities across the UK.
Forum staff are asking statutory and voluntary organisations and individuals to let them know what events they are planning so that they can be promoted on the website at www.ruralhealthforum.org.uk.
An information pack explaining how to go about organising an event is also being prepared by the forum, which was launched last November.
The forum's mission is to work for the health and well-being of rural communities by providing a point of national contact for all involved in rural health and social care and promoting partnerships and information exchange.
Based at the Institute of Rural Health at Gregynog, near Newtown in Mid Wales, the forum aims to influence policy and practice locally and nationally.
Kate Mitchinson, Forum Co-ordinator, said September 23-27 had been declared Rural Health Week to try and raise the profile of rural health and social care issues.
"The idea is copied from Australia and I am hoping that organisations, including young farmers' clubs and youth clubs, across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will give their support to make Rural Health Week a big success," added Kate, who can be contacted on Tel: 01686 650800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Early support for the venture has come from the National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI) which has chosen health as its key focus from June. One of the first groups to arrange an event is Suffolk West NFWI which is to hold a 'Health Fun Day' on September 26.
The forum is organising a 'Care of the Elderly' conference at Gregynog on September 24, which will focus on health and social care issues relating to elderly people in rural areas.
The Institute of Rural Health, an organisation dedicated to optimising health and well being in rural communities across the UK, is also playing its part by supporting the Montgomeryshire Medical Society Rural Doctors Conference at Gregynog from September 25-27.
Topics for debate at the multi-professional conference will be cardiology, appraisals and revalidation, pain, the knee, diabetes and medical equipment.
Let the Rural Health Forum know about your special events organised to celebrate Rural Health Week, by contacting Kate on Tel: 01686 650800 or e-mail
28 June, 2002
CONFERENCE TO FOCUS ON RURAL HEALTH IMPACT OF FOOT AND MOUTH
The impact that foot and mouth disease has had on the health and well being of rural communities
was explored at a national conference to establish the evidence base and identify good practice.
More information about the conference and the IRH is available on the organisation's website at www.rural-health.ac.uk.