Message from the President - 11 September

Russell thanks members, volunteers and staff for all the achievements over the past six months, reflecting on the many phenomenal impacts these have made. He announces the launch of the new #ChoosePaediatrics campaign and what's to come from the clinical and staff advisory group, and also explores efforts and thoughts for the near future...

It is now six months since the pandemic really began to bite in the UK and it's appropriate for us to look back at what the College has achieved during this time. We’ve just published our impact report, which captures the work we’ve done together on COVID-19 over the last six months. It’s therefore the right opportunity for me to recognise and thank each of you - and the College teams - for the remarkable work done responding to the pandemic.

As paediatricians we have definitely punched well above our weight

From changing policy on shielding, reducing delayed presentations, producing the first definition of PIMS, campaigning on schools, the review of 12,000 papers for our COVID-19 research summaries, to a COVID book club for children – our impact as a group has been phenomenal. As paediatricians we have definitely punched well above our weight. Relative to our output, the College is a small organisation and I know that teams and individuals have worked flat out during this period. I’m very grateful for their support and commitment.

Similarly, none of this would be possible without your help. Royal Colleges depend hugely on the good will, time and experience of clinicians and practitioners – and at RCPCH we are hugely grateful to our 2,500+ member volunteers. I know that doing this while also balancing a busy work life, home life, and all the disruption wrought by COVID is no small feat. I am incredibly grateful to everyone who’s got involved and helped us during this period.

I wish that the impact report could be a ‘goodbye to all that’ document. However, it seems clear that we are entering another difficult phase of the pandemic. I know that many of you will be tired and anxious as we face into winter. The College is now running a clinical and staff advisory group to help us navigate the winter period and to advocate for our services and the children and young people who depend on them. We’ll being publishing outputs from these groups very soon and I’ll write more about this work in the next update.

I’m delighted we launched our new video on Wednesday as part of the #ChoosePaediatrics campaign. We’ve made great progress in turning around a few years of challenging fill rates for the specialty, and the campaign is designed to consolidate and build on a very healthy performance this year. As always, it's important that we address both retention and recruitment. Visit our updated materials on the Choose paediatrics and the Survive and thrive in paediatrics pages. Please do help the team amplify the videos and calls to action by following us and sharing our posts on Twitter and Facebook.

Hopefully many of you have already taken the 2020 member survey - if you haven't, please do take ten minutes to give us your views on crucial topics like equality, diversity and inclusion and the College's response to the pandemic.

Finally, a reminder that the roles of President and Registrar are now open for applications. I’ll write a bit more about that next time, but if you’re thinking about it, please do have a look at the job descriptions and put yourself forward. On a related note, I want to say a huge welcome and congratulations to Dr Omowunmi (Mo) Akindolie, who has been appointed Deputy Registrar, and Dr Dal Hothi who’s been appointed our Officer for Retention. I am delighted to welcome them both on board.

That’s all for now,

Russell


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