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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2005): Social Care - UK - Community Care

The challenges associated with providing community care for people with complex needs in rural areas: a qualitative investigation

S. McCann, A.A. Ryan and H. McKenna

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.13, 2005, p.462-469

The study aimed to explore the experiences of recipients and providers of community care in rural areas in Northern Ireland. Individual semi-structured interviews were held with service users and family carers. Individual and focus group interviews were conducted with care assistants, health and social care professionals and senior managers from a large health and social care trust and health and social services board. The main challenges associated with care provision in rural areas included: difficulties recruiting care assistants, lack of choice of care assistants, travel and distance between clients and their care assistants, and poor housing conditions. It was generally agreed that effective community care in rural areas relied on the goodwill of local people. Additionally, changing demographics and the predicted shortfall in the number of formal and informal carers were considered key challenges for service planners.

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