Inequalities in life chances and opportunities have constantly been my concern. The voice of children and young people has been critical for me in action to change this
It has been a great privilege for me to have been Chair of Trustees at the College. Most of my working life has focused around children and young people from birth to young adults helping them to grow, develop and thrive. This has been in a range of contexts across the UK and internationally; in child protection and safeguarding, education and other learning including through creative arts, sport and outdoors.
Inequalities in life chances and opportunities have constantly been my concern. The voice of children and young people has been critical for me in action to change this – I am delighted with the huge impact the RCPCH &Us network continues to have with and for the College. I was interviewed robustly by an &Us*panel five years ago. I have watched what CYP have done since with huge interest, noting the great support they have from key staff and members, as well as their families. We have all been cleverly informed, entertained and challenged, often all at the same time.
A member organisation cannot achieve its full potential without a huge contribution from those working with the members in such a diverse range of activities
The College has given me a profound, much deeper understanding of inequalities in the health journeys for infants, children and young people and their families. This was starkly evident in the first State of Child Health report in January 2017 and those that have followed this. It really has been a privilege to understand better the extraordinary contribution given by paediatricians, and those who work with them, to do everything to improve and change life chances in childhood/adolescence and beyond, as well as grow and train the next generation to follow them.
This includes all of the people at the College. A member organisation cannot achieve its full potential without a huge contribution from those working with the members in such a diverse range of activities, support and other interventions across the UK and internationally. For everyone this has been exceptional, navigating through the challenges of the pandemic over the past eighteen months.
It has been our welcome task to work with others to establish the new governance arrangements over the five years with myself as the first independent Chair
Although there has been a great deal of change and challenge in the College and elsewhere, since late 2016, it is a credit to everyone that this has led to progressive development. This is shown so well in the recent launch of the next College Strategy and its areas of focus, much developed from previous work but some newer areas with greater presence.
It has been our welcome task to work with others to establish the new governance arrangements over the five years with myself as the first independent Chair, together with external Trustees, the Officer Trustees, member Trustees and also importantly beneficiary Trustees. I arrived with a range of experience of governance – I leave with a much enriched understanding, thanks to all those who have worked with me on and with the Board.
Over the last five years in the College, I have worked with three Presidents, three Registrars, two Treasurers and two CEOs, all progressively building on the work done before
My term of office has been a period of much change both internally and externally. For example, over the last five years in the College, I have worked with three Presidents, three Registrars, two Treasurers and two CEOs, all progressively building on the work done before. It has been good to work in partnership with them through all the challenges.
I was part of the final stages of appointing our first group of member and independent external Trustees in 2016. It is good that we have staggered their replacements over the last two years so that finally all the successors will be in post by December 2021.
So as I step down, and hand over to my successor Joanne Shaw at the end of this month, I want to thank everyone. First, all those who have served as Trustees on the Board with me. As a group and individually, I could not have asked for more thoughtful, committed and constructively challenging engagement.
Secondly, thank you to the members across the four nations and internationally, both those I have worked with more closely and all that I have met and engaged with along the way. I have so missed the Annual Conference as a wonderful three days to meet, catch up and learn so much from you all about paediatrics and child health over the last two years.
Thirdly, my thanks to all those working at the College who do so much to make such a diversity of activity, influence, education, training, policy development and research possible and keep us online and working together in the now wonderfully modernised working spaces.
Finally, thank you in particular to Camilla, President, Jo, CEO, our Senior Officers, the members of SMT, and all their predecessors over the last five years, as well as others who have helped me directly with the Board of Trustees – I have enjoyed working with you and valued you all.
I wish everyone in the College the very best as you stride forward with well-deserved confidence as you face the multiple challenges ahead. I shall follow your continued progress with interest.