Rural Forum

Welcome from the Rural Forum

We represent rural and remote GPs and promote rural issues inside and outside the College Faculties. There are around 800 RCGP members currently signed up to the rural forum, who are invited to participate in discussions pertinent to this group of members. We aim to advance the College's objectives in rural practice; facilitate communication and networking of rural doctors in the UK and support the professional development of rural GPs. By working with the College, we raise issues concerning remote and rural GPs to help inform political debate.

Second Annual Conference: Changing Practice, Changing Outcomes

National Centre for Remote and Rural Medicine, in collaboration with the RCGP Rural Forum

Postponed for 2021

Join us 15 and 16 June 2022

Hear from some of the most inspirational practitioners in the field of urgent, rural and digital medicine

  • BLS, ECG interpretation and suturing workshops
  • Share knowledge, experience and best practice with other workers in remote and rural medicine
  • Be inspired to work in a rural setting - find out more from those who do!

Get involved

The Rural Forum runs a Google Group for members to communicate, seek assistance, canvass ideas and gain support - please contact us for information on how to join. The Forum also runs educational conferences which helps meet CPD requirements and receive quality education, as well as supporting remote and rural colleagues.

Our blog

Please connect to our blog page for regular updates.

Rural Forum Officers

  • Dr Christopher Clark. Chair
  • Dr Robert Lambourn - England Representative
  • Dr Haldane Maxwell - Scottish Representative
  • Dr Melanie Plant - Welsh Representative
  • Dr Miriam Dolan - Northern Ireland Representative
  • Dr Christopher Williams - Scottish Representative
  • Mr Michael Critchell - Student Representative
  • Miss Rosannah Jackson - Student Representative
  • Dr Sanjeev Maskara - England Representative
  • Dr Andrew Strain - First5 Representative
  • Mrs Jane Randall-Smith - EURIPA Representative
  • Dr John Wynn-Jones - WONCA Working Party Rural Practice (WWPRP) Chair, European Rural and Isolated Practitioners Association (EURIPA) Past President. RCGP representative and contact with Rural International Organisations
  • Dr Mhairi Murdoch - AIT Representative

The RCGP Rural Forum group aims to improve representation of rural GPs within the College.

The forum supports GP revalidation and investigates education that seeks to ensure recruitment and retention in rural practices. We aim to improve communication with rural members, offer input for CPD programmes and research and provide the rural perspective in shaping College policy.

Our aims are to:

  • Represent rural and remote GPs, and promote rural issues inside and outside the College faculties
  • Encourage rural GPs to engage with the College
  • Advance the College's objectives in rural practice
  • Facilitate communication and networking of rural doctors in the UK
  • Support the professional development of rural GPs
  • Promote remote and rural issues at appropriate levels, engaging with the profession and managers and informing political debate.


  • Being Rural RCGP Scotland Rural Strategy Group policy paper [PDF]

RCGP Scotland Rural Strategy Group issued their policy paper Being Rural in an exclusive interview with Daniel Sanderson of the Herald on the challenges facing remote and rural general practice.

The Rural Forum initiative has been running for five years. Growing interest and increasing membership numbers suggest that we are meeting our aims to promote rural general practice and highlight issues facing rural GPs.

Initiatives include:

Rural Forum Steering Group

The Forum is managed by a Steering Group supported by the administrator, Paula Lythgoe who supervises the day to day running of the Forum. The Steering Group consists of representatives from the 4 nations and co-opted members to represent AiTs, First5s, GPC, Dispensing Doctors' Association EURIPA, WONCA Rural Working Party. 

To find out more about members of the Rural Forum Steering Group please view the links below.


Rural Events Calendar

Watch this space for future events

Rural Forum Discussion Google Group

This is the means by which members can follow and inform topical debate and can contribute to Rural Forum activity. An operational guide will be sent electronically on joining the Forum.

Join the Forum

The Forum is open to any College member and is completely free. Join by emailing your details to us. Please include the following details:

  • First name and surname
  • GMC number
  • The email address which you registered with the College's membership database

Benefits of joining

  • Representation of rural practitioners' interests in the care of their patients at all levels
  • Established democratic representative structure
  • Opportunity for you to inform and influence College policy
  • A virtual system of communication via e-communication and web based facilities
  • Fee reduction for attendance at educational meetings and courses run by the Forum
  • Opportunity to comment on and influence College policy opportunity to influence College interaction with other agencies where their policies and initiatives may impact on rural healthcare.

Contact us

Amy Holden - RCGP Regional Engagement Manager - Northern


Phone: 0203 3188 7790


Follow us

Don't forget to follow us on social media for the latest updates: 


Useful links 

WHO Reference Documents on Remote and Rural Retention Policy for Health Workers

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