The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

Conference Spotlight: Rural Health & Care

One of the founding principles of the NHS is that it “provides a comprehensive service, available to all”.  However, for many people living in rural areas, this is simply not the case. People are having to travel further to access care and support, a move to more digital solutions does not work in areas with poor connectivity and the cost of living in rural areas is leading to a recruitment crisis in the health service.  Furthermore, a reduction in public transport has led to social isolation in an aging population, adding to the dramatic rise in post-pandemic mental health problems.  As such, the physical and mental health of people living in rural communities is suffering in unprecedented ways.  So how can we turn the tide and bring the support needed to some of society’s most vulnerable people?

These are some of the issues to be discussed at our National Rural Conference 2023.  On Thursday 21 September, we will be joined by Professor Stuart Maitland-Knibb from the National Centre for Remote and Rural Medicine, Kira McDiarmid, a Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer at the National Rural Mental Health Forum and Jan Sobieraj, the Chair of the National Centre for Rural Health and Care to review health care provision in rural areas and potential ways to move forward.

Following the government’s announcement this summer on the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan and its Major Conditions Consultation, Chair of the National Centre for Rural Health and Care, Jan Sobieraj, will be looking at the impact policy has on rural areas.

Professor Stuart Maitland-Knibb will be talking about how Air Ambulances provide lifeline to rural areas.  He has extensive experience working throughout the world's health care systems, specialising in remote and hostile locations, providing urgent and emergency care and continues to fly two days a week in a clinical supervision position.

Finally, Kira McDiarmid, a Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer at the National Rural Mental Health Forum will be looking at the impact of the Cost-of-Living Crisis on metal health in rural areas.

The conference this year is supported by NICRE, and sponsored by BT, Gemserv, Northern Powergrid and SWS Broadband


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