Rural Health Network established

A new Rural Health Network has been established following a ground-breaking “Challenging Times” conference in Nottingham last autumn.

The Network will enable health professionals to better share best practice, share learning about delivering high quality services to rural communities and engaging effectively with them.

The Network will also enable a regular interface on rural health issues with policy and decision makers at the highest levels via the All Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services for which the Rural Services Network acts as the secretariat.

The objectives of the Rural Health Network have been summarised as:-

Representing the case for a better deal for rural provision in health services and rural proofing in policy making.

Exchanging useful, relevant and thought provoking information in order to enable improved public health and health services delivery.

Developing and sharing best practice in public health and health delivery.

The wider Rural Services Partnership will also enable health practitioners, commissioners and patients groups, as members of the Rural Health Network, to engage with other sectors with an interest in health.

2013 Conference announcement

The success of last year’s launch has inspired the planning of a second Rural Health Network conference in Devon on 18 October 2013. This will be held at the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club and Conference Centre, Sandy Park, Sandy Park Way, Exeter, EX2 7NN.

Themes for this year’s conference include tele-medicine and tele-diagnostics, rural broadband, rural proofing and resourcing. The conference programme is being finalised and formal publicity of the event will commence shortly.

Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, who leads the Parliamentary Rural Fair Shares campaign and also chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services, has been approached to Chair the conference.

Dr. Virginia Pearson, Joint Executive Director of Public Health, Devon and who is supporting the 2013 conference said, “With the new Care Commissioning Groups in place and new Health and Wellbeing Boards now firmly established, I am hoping that this second conference will appeal to all partners with an interest in health improvement and care for rural communities and the particular challenges of providing high quality services in this austerity climate.”

Publicity for the 2013 conference commenced with a poster presentation at the recent NHS Expo event in London.

The Health Business magazine has previewed the 2013 Rural Health Network Conference. To see this online article go to

If you or your organisation is interested in providing a paper or a contribution to the conference please contact Nick Payne as detailed below.

Rural Health Network - Work programme

A Survey Monkey exercise carried out among last year’s conference delegates has been used to establish priorities and interests for an initial work programme for the Rural Health Network.

These are suggested to be:-

Resource Profiling of health services for elderly populations

Rural proofing

Community transport – equity of access

Mental Health – dealing with long term conditions

Exploiting Rural Broadband opportunities and the Health agenda

You can view the results of this survey by clicking here

Membership and further information

Support and interest in joining the Network has been very positive from all the respondents and is growing.

Ordinary membership has been set at £150 per year and there is now sufficient interest in this section of membership to proceed to establish an electronic based network.

Organisations or health professionals who may like to discuss providing a rural health related contribution to our Forums or becoming involved with the Rural Health Network, are asked to contact Nick Payne, Rural Services Network, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01822 813693 or mobile 07432 599167.

2012 Rural Heath Conference

You can find all the information and presentations from our Rural Health Conference 2012 by clicking here.