Background

The Montgomeryshire Medical Society was formed in the mid 1980s by six Montgomeryshire (a district of North Powys) General Practices, namely:

Llanfair Caereinion, Llanfyllin, Llanidloes, Montgomery, Newtown and Welshpool

The objects of the Society are to promote Postgraduate Medical Education and to support primary health care in Montgomeryshire and neighbouring districts. It also fosters good relationships with hospital colleagues and encourages rural networks.

The Society is a membership organisation, consisting of GPs working in and around Montgomeryshire. An Annual General Meeting is held yearly where a Chair, a Treasurer and anorganising committee are appointed. The Society currently has 50 members, and charges an annual subscription.

Annual Rural Primary Care Conference

The Annual Rural Doctors Conference was the concept of two of the original founders of the Society: Dr Anthony Evans and Dr John Wynn Jones. The first “study course in rural medicine” was held in September 1990 with over 100 GPs in attendance from all over UK. The aims were to:-

nbsp;

  • provide educational sessions relating to rural practitioners;

  • discuss problems and make proposals relevant to the particular problems associated with geographical isolation

  • provide a forum for GPs with similar problems to meet and discuss issues relating to primary health care

The conference has remained a popular learning event in a GPs postgraduate calendar and continues to attract GPs from across the UK, primarily Cumbria, East Anglia, the West Midlands, as well as Wales. In the mid 1990s the Conference became the Annual Rural Primary Care Conference and now offers parallel programmes of education and training for both Practice Nurses and Practice Managers. In 2010 the conference began offering reduced rates for F2 doctors in order to encourage younger doctors to attend the event. This initiative has proved successful with many returning to the event year on year, and encouraging friends and colleagues to attend also.

The organisers have always felt that the success of the Conference has been to provide a forum for GPs to meet their colleagues and discuss similar issues and challenges. Discussions taking place outside the organised sessions have often been as fruitful as those in the main sessions themselves. Many delegates return year after year, thus creating a comradery amongst delegates which gives the Conference it’s unique and friendly atmosphere.

Over the years family doctors have attended from many parts of the world and during the mid 90’s the organisers devoted a session to European rural health issues, inviting speakers from Finland, Denmark, Greece, Romania and Poland. Since then other European doctors have also spoken at the Conference from Portugal, Spain and Ireland.

The conference is run over 3 days during the latter half of September/beginning of October at Gregynog Hall, near Newtown in Powys. Facilitation of the event has been supported by the Wales Deanery and Powys Teaching Local Health Board.