Rural Health and Care Wales (RHCW) is an organisation of excellence that is leading the way in the field of rural health and social care in Wales, the UK and internationally.

RHCW was formed and is supported by Hywel Dda University Health Board, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, and Powys Teaching Health Board. RHCW works in collaboration with the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Swansea, Trinity Saint David and Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, along with the local authorities of Ceredigion, Powys and Gwynedd.

RHCW has three main areas of work:

The Vision of Rural Health and Care Wales (RHCW) is:

"to become a world-leading organisation in rural health and social care research, training, recruitment and best practice."


Rural Health and Care Wales’ prime aims are to:

  • provide a focal point for the development and collation of high quality research pertinent to rural health and wellbeing
  • improve the training, recruitment and retention of a professional workforce within rural communities
  • be recognised as an exemplar in rural health and wellbeing on the international stage

Its objectives are to:

  1. establish a network of individuals and groups that support research, innovation and development in rural health and social care
  2. work collaboratively with international partners on rural health and social care research projects and the development of best practice models
  3. influence and instigate the practical application of research findings and innovative practices that will positively impact rural health and well being
  4. work with professional bodies and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to ensure that relevant education, training and CPD programmes are available to equip health and social care professionals with the skills and knowledge required to deliver high quality care in rural areas
  5. collate and undertake research that informs models of prevention, treatment and care that will improve the health and wellbeing of rural communities
  6. engage proactively with the public and local communities in the development of rural health and social care initiatives and research
  7. advise on the development and delivery of accessible services, based on informed patient choice, prevention, diagnosis and self-care
  8. support decision-makers and policy colleagues to be fully cognisant of the scope, opportunities, issues and challenges in implementing prudent health and social care in a rural environment