An introduction to Dr Mairi Stark, future RCPCH Officer for Scotland

In February 2021, Dr Mairi Stark will succeed Professor Steve Turner as RCPCH Officer for Scotland. Mairi shares her aims and aspirations, and outlines her priorities as future RCPCH Scottish Officer.
Mairi Stark

I am delighted to be taking over from Professor Steve Turner as Scottish Officer in February 2021. Steve has done excellent work on COVID-19 and over the last several years on the State of Child Health report.

I hope to be able to focus on the issues surrounding child health, which are becoming more apparent to us all as clinical and academic paediatricians, as Scotland recovers from the pandemic. This is a particularly exciting year to take up post as the UN Convention on the Rights of the child is incorporated into Scots law.

The challenges from the global COVID-19 pandemic will widen the health inequalities that children in Scotland face.

I have been working in paediatrics in Scotland for the last 25 years and as a General Paediatric Consultant for the last 14 years in Edinburgh. As clinical lead for Acute Paediatrics at RHSC in Edinburgh, I understand the daily pressures and workforce issues we face.

In order to make progress across Scotland I will work hard to build on and establish new connections with paediatricians across Scotland - initially remotely, but hopefully in person when allowed.

The challenges we face as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic will widen the health inequalities that children in Scotland face, particularly in relation to mental health and the effects of increased poverty. We will need to ensure that children and young people are not forgotten when considering the secondary effects of the pandemic so all children can lead the healthy lives they deserve. This is an exciting challenge and I look forward to meeting many of you over the coming months.

Please get in contact if you have any questions or ideas on ways we can improve paediatrics and child health in Scotland. You can reach me via the RCPCH Scotland team on enquiries-scotland@rcpch.ac.uk