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.

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Latest from your faculty

NCRRM Conference in collaboration with the RCGP Rural Forum

The RCGP Rural Forum were pleased to work with the National Centre for Remote and Rural Medicine (NCRRM) at their annual conference in Penrith on 7 and 8 June 2023. Changing practice, changing outcomes attracted over 100 delegates per day and offered a hugely varied programme of talks from GPs and other medical professionals across rural medicine. The RCGP were pleased to sponsor the poster session and awarded the prizes to the lucky winners during the drinks reception on 7 June.

Get involved

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

  • 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.

Rural Connections

The Rural Forum now run a bimonthly webinar series called Rural Connections where we discuss issues that are relevant and important to rural General Practice. So far we have held a session discussing the vaccine rollout and a session discussing the best of the new and the old post lockdown. These sessions are informal facilitated discussions to give you an opportunity to share your experiences and to hear from other rural colleagues.

The next session details will be posted soon.

Meet your faculty

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
  • Dr Sanjeev Maskara - England 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 Emma Watts - England Representative
  • Dr Shen Gills - Scottish 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.

Contact us

Ruth Bishop | Regional Engagement Manager | South West England | Faculties
Phone: 0203 188 7685 | 07585 978432

Useful links 

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