Access to services, including public services and welfare support, is a significant factor contributing to rural poverty. In rural areas, access to health and welfare services, and affordable childcare is often limited, leading to financial pressures and availability issues. For instance, if parents cannot access affordable childcare locally, they may be unable to work or have to work reduced hours to manage childcare responsibilities.
The closure of many rural banks has also made access to financial services and advice a challenge for rural residents. While the development of internet banking has reduced the impact of this issue to some extent, the challenge has now shifted to supporting those who are not connected online and deemed to be in digital poverty, particularly in rural areas.
Health and welfare service delivery in rural areas in Wales is dependent on a national delivery format rather than specifically tailored to meet the needs of the area, leading to inflexibility and failure to meet the needs of those who need to access it. According to the NHS Confederation report into rural health and care in Wales, acute services are becoming increasingly specialised, leading to longer travelling times for patients needing specialist care, particularly in rural communities. Smaller patient volumes in rural areas can make some specialist services unworkable due to costs and the unavailability of doctors.