Message from the President - 26 February 2021

Russell announces the launch of Paediatrics 2040 and the new website that houses the data, evidence and thought pieces surrounding this innovative and timely project. He also shares thoughts on the latest RCPCH Milestones, our quarterly member magazine.

It feels like we’re emerging from this long winter at last. We had a few sunny days where I live, and amid a very busy week it made a nice change to shake off the cold of early February.

This week, we launched Paediatrics 2040, a three-year project to help us understand how our discipline will change and evolve in the coming decades, our role as paediatricians, and how the College needs to change to support you in the years ahead. The outputs of the project are now live on this very lovely microsite, and I hope you find something useful and relevant to your working life. I am hugely grateful to the many people who made this work happen, not least our teams at the College who did so much to keep on track in a year when we were so buffeted by events. Around 120 members and more than 900 children and young people contributed to the report on four focus areas:

We’ll be talking about all this at today’s launch (I was delighted to see so many of you signed up to attend - over 460).

In other news I’m very pleased to see the prospect of schools re-opening in each of the four nations, albeit with some variation in terms of the phasing. It is encouraging and absolutely right that schools are the priority and the first step on the road to reopening the UK. It’s been a very polarized and at times quite dispiriting debate, but I know the College has made a contribution in making the case strongly for children and young people. As we’ve said throughout, we must balance the risks of not reopening schools with the potential for schools to drive up infection rates. Focusing only on infection ignores the very clear evidence of the harms to mental and physical health that school closures bring to children and young people. When we close schools we close their lives and I will be very relieved to see their return. 

It’s nice also to see the spring edition of Milestones, which has some great features on our 25th anniversary, Paediatrics 2040, a farewell from me – and a hello from Camilla. It’s a beautiful publication, full of interesting perspectives. I'm also pleased to announce that members now have the option to receive their copy as digital rather than print if they so wish, a positive move for the environment. Email if you would like to make the switch!

That’s all for now


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