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Title: Exploring service change, older people's access and impact : does rurality matter?
Author: Hamilton, Charlotte
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2015
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Previous research has highlighted closures and changes to the provision of ‘everyday’ services in rural areas. Service reconfiguration may disproportionately affect older people, who are overrepresented in the rural population. Research has shown that older people value opportunities for social interaction such local services offer alongside their instrumental value. Published literature has not examined the impact of changes to diverse private and public services both individually and cumulatively. This research is placed in the context of existing social policies pertinent to rural service provision. This thesis adopts a mixed methods approach with a convergent parallel design. The quantitative strand draws on data compiled by the Commission for Rural Communities, a Freedom of Information response from the Post Office and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing to examine the context of service change in England and older people’s perceptions of access. The qualitative strand uses a case study of a rural village that has experienced change in service provision to explore the impact on older residents. Drawing together the inferences from all data sources, it becomes apparent that there is a wide range of potential impacts (and unintended consequences) of service change. Everyday services are interrelated and can result in cumulative change or closure. Alternative forms of provision, such as mobile services, need more consideration and community consultation before their implementation. Finally, this research highlights the diversity of rural older age in affecting the impact of change; differences in rurality and older age increase the complexity. By using multiple research approaches, data sources and analysis techniques, this thesis can take a holistic approach to examining the service environment. Objective and subjective impacts are considered, from the perspective of older people in the community.
Supervisor: Parker, Gillian ; Godfrey, Mary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available