Remote, rural and islands General Practitioners can find geographical isolation challenging in the context of accessing appropriate education, alongside networking opportunities with peers for support, CPD and sharing developing best practice. The RRHEAL Rural GP VC Education network was established to help support remote and rural practitioner colleagues with sharing of good practice and continuous professional development (http://www.rrheal.scot.nhs.uk/what-we-do/programmes-and-events/rural-gp-vc-education-network.aspx). RRHEAL committed to deliver an initial series of 'at distance' sessions using videoconference and Jabber, enabling a wide range of participants to join from remote, rural and island locations. The sessions spotlight selected 'hot rural practice topics' enabling practitioners to share evidence based presentations and facilitated discussion with a focus on applications to clinical practice. Bimonthly networked sessions have been offered to a range of locations and practitioners, with up to 19 sites participating at any one time. The presentation shares the findings of an ongoing qualitative evaluation of this initial educational series, which is informing next steps for ongoing educational support, audience engagement and content inclusion. There is a strong appetite for such at distance, inclusive, educational and networked engagement. The presented context must be contextually accurate and appropriate. Structure and rigorous VC etiquette enhance productivity of such applications focused discussion across a highly dispersed audience. At distance, inclusive engagement such as this is an underutilised form of educational support and professional enrichment for remote, rural, island and other hard to reach health and social care teams.
This abstract was presented at the Innovative Solutions in Remote Healthcare - 'Rethinking Remote' conference, 23-24 May 2016, Inverness, Scotland.