I’ve had an amazing 2 weeks since taking over from Russell after the AGM on 10 May. So many friends and colleagues have been generous and kind in their welcome. I am thrilled to have the privilege of this role and am looking forward to my 3 years of getting to know many of you. Hopefully together we will achieve some important goals both to benefit all of us, and the children and families we look after.
Another highlight for me was the arrival of my edition of Milestones, our membership magazine. Huge congratulations to the editorial team on a bumper magazine to mark the start of our 25th birthday celebrations! I loved reading the reflections from a whole range of different Members about the College and what the College has meant to them during their careers. I also can’t wait to try and bake Ash Patel’s Pinata cake which looks incredible. I’ve seen lots of amazing photos on Twitter from paediatricians who have taken on the challenge and baked fantastic versions of Ash’s recipe with some sensational results! I’m pretty impressed with Mike Farquhar’s efforts ….. but feel confident there will be many more extravagant versions from others to come!
...it probably won’t surprise you to know that we have activated our Winter Planning Group and are working hard to prepare for the winter hitting the UK...
I know that most of you, like me, are hankering after a Summer holiday – and would actually just like to see some signs of summery weather right now! However, it probably won’t surprise you to know that we have activated our Winter Planning Group and are working hard to prepare for the winter hitting the UK – in case our winter virus season chooses to start early like our Australian colleagues have seen with an early bronchiolitis season. After such a difficult 15 months and with a determination to work on our waiting lists and other work that was delayed because of the pandemic, it has never been more important to prepare for the worst-case scenario, and then hope it doesn’t happen. You will hear more about this over the forthcoming weeks and months, but please rest assured that we will be doing everything we can to support you and your services as much as we can over the months ahead.
It was therefore really pleasing for us to see the GMC statement this week publishing their intent to focus on achieving new targets to see the eradication of disadvantage and discrimination in medical education as well as complaints referrals from employers.
I hope you are all aware of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work and our commitment to making meaningful improvements across a number of areas. It was therefore really pleasing for us to see the GMC statement this week publishing their intent to focus on achieving new targets to see the eradication of disadvantage and discrimination in medical education as well as complaints referrals from employers. We all need to play our part in this and as a College, we won’t step away from our responsibilities, but I am really delighted by the GMC’s move.
I bumped into a colleague in the corridor this week whom I haven’t seen for a while. In the course of catching up, he mentioned that 7 friends and family members in India have died in the last few weeks in the second pandemic wave and described how stressful and heart-breaking it has been for him to try and support and help from such a long distance. I know that sadly this experience is now common to so many paediatricians in the UK and I also know that I speak on behalf of us all when I say how sad we are for the devastating loss of life, and that we stand in solidarity with the wider Indian community.
Finally, it has been my privilege and joy to chair the conference committee again this year – ably supported by Dr Peter Lachman who has the most extraordinary network of contacts and can magic up pretty much any speaker I could dream of! The result is that we have the most amazing 2021 RCPCH Conference programme for you and I sincerely ask you to take a look and consider joining us. Even if you can’t attend all 3 days, you will have access to the whole programme on Catch Up if you’ve registered and so can watch whatever you’ve missed later. Where else will you hear Sir Michael Marmot, Professor Devi Sridhar and our very own Dr Guddi Singh in one event? And that’s just for starters ……!
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