RCPCH President, Dr Hilary Cass, sets out her six priorities:
1. The College in your control:
Advertised in this newsletter is a survey from our communications team, which I would urge you to complete. We urgently need to know how best to communicate with you, what YOUR priorities are for the services you want from the College, and something about how you see our future direction.
2. The College closer to you:
I am committed to establishing a more regionalised structure for the College, with far more activity, educational projects and debate going on outside the London HQ. To achieve this we will need to change our governance and representation structure to develop a smaller, more responsive team directing affairs, and a stronger support structure and presence around the UK. As I said in my manifesto, I am also committed to ensuring that the voices of trainees are heard fully in our discussions, especially given their growing importance as a proportion of our membership.
On page four of the recent newsletter you will find an interview with Dr Dan Lumsden, the Chair of our Trainees’ Committee, setting out his plans for the future. I would urge you to read this, even if you are not yourself a trainee: what happens to the newest members of our profession will ultimately affect us all.
3. The College in your workplace:
The College does a huge amount of work around setting and raising standards, whether through its clinical effectiveness programme, its CPD, or its new programme of invited service reviews. I want this work to be as widely available as possible to paediatricians in their workplaces, so that it has the greatest possible impact on practice. We also want to develop quality improvement training and networks that will allow us to share new models of working and innovations; because this sharing of practice is the best way to support eachother in tackling our financial and workforce challenges.
4. The College delivering more education:
You may have already seen our new “How to Manage…” series of courses being advertised. We want to build on this, and on the expertise that we have among our members, to provide a truly comprehensive suite of education products for you. These may be in-person courses, or online or print resources. We also want to harness the potential of new technology to ensure that the reach of our courses is as great as possible.
Our flagship event, the Annual Conference, is going from strength to strength. Numbers have been up over the last two years, and the 2013 conference – to be held in conjunction with the biennial Europaediatrics conference and the Paediatric Nursing Associations of Europe – promises to be a more high-profile event than ever before. And in 2014, in addition to the UK Conference, we are planning to run an RCPCH Asia Conference to support our overseas members.
5. The College focussing on policy:
Last November, the College agreed on five major policy priorities:
- Mortality - preventing avoidable child deaths
- Tackling childhood obesity
- A better NHS for CYP
- Mental health
- Child protection and LAC
A number of projects already underway will support these.
For instance, the UK Child Health Review (CHR-UK) hosted by the College will be a powerful tool for understanding the causes of avoidable child deaths. Policy will have a higher profile, both in our communications with members and in our campaigning. In the autumn, we will be launching Turning the Tide, a major new report on the importance of child health research to paediatrics as a profession and to the patients whom we serve. Clearly, high-quality research
underpins policy in a number of ways. We will all need to be prepared to fight for child health research in a context where funding is being squeezed ever more tightly.
6. The College as part of coalitions:
This is arguably the most important strategic priority, pulling all the above strands together. We work in a health service which is largely designed around adult priorities; hence we all worry about how it will perform for children in the coming financially-strapped years. So whether by working with RCGP on improving primary care for children, with the RCN on workforce planning and system redesign, or the third sector on lobbying for children’s services, we must use collaborations and coalitions to get the best deal for our patients. We even need to work more effectively with our own speciality groups – themselves multi-professional organisations – to secure specialist services.
I have already begun discussions with some of these Colleges and groups on how we can collaborate in a more effective and streamlined way, not just for service delivery, but also in planning educational projects and research priorities.
Associated Publications, Resources and Links
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