Message from the President - 9 October

Russell's term as President finishes next spring, as does that of our Registrar, and so the College is looking for clinicians who can bring their passions and priorities to these roles. And, we continue our calls to protect and restore children's health services this winter with a new statement, plus a renewed focus on Brexit.

The RCPCH is looking for a new President. Not because of any calamity – but because College statues rightly insist we don’t end up with a President for Life. Let’s be honest that none of us would want that! My term finishes in March next year, which means the College will shortly begin elections to select a new President.

We are also after a new Registrar, as the brilliant Mike Linney is also coming to the end of his term. The Registrar is the President’s right hand, fixer, consigliere… it’s a role that is vital to the College but isn’t always easy to describe. You can listen to Mike speak about his role

The closing date for both jobs is Monday 12 October, 17:00 after which we’ll ask you all to vote for your preferred candidates. We need sensible clinicians with strong leadership skills to apply. If you’re interested, the job descriptions are available on this website and I’ve put down my impressions of what the job is really like in a clip. I know some of you are weighing up whether to apply. If you’re thinking about it and you can spare the time, go for it!

...there is no ‘right’ sort of President. Each person brings a unique perspective, a distinctive background and their own passions and priorities

My own experience has been something of a whirlwind. I thought the main issue would be Brexit! I’ve thought more than once about the phrase “may you live in interesting times”. While there have been moments of yearning for a slightly less interesting experience, it has been a fascinating, enriching and immensely enjoyable period of my career, despite the many challenges we’ve had to face. I say this in the clip but it’s worth repeating here: there is no ‘right’ sort of President. Each person brings a unique perspective, a distinctive background and their own passions and priorities. If you have a spark inside you to make a difference, and you’re up for the challenge, then I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Also, I can personally attest to the quality and depth of the support you will get from the College – and that applies to both President and Registrar roles. So that’s my pitch, and if you want to have an informal chat, do drop our CEO Jo Revill a line at jo.revill@rcpch.ac.uk.

We need to stand together to protect services for children and young people, even when things get very difficult

In other news, today we published our winter statement about the restoration and maintenance of services. It’s easy to join the chorus of interest groups and specialties demanding special protection, and we’ve tried to avoid that approach in favour of working constructively within the system. But we make it clear that even if we wanted to repeat the redeployment and service stand downs of the first phase, it simply wouldn’t be possible. The capacity that is within our services will be needed, expected and tested in the coming months. We’ve been working with the NHS and others to make that case and so far, we’ve had a good hearing. We need to stand together to protect services for children and young people, even when things get very difficult – as seems likely to be the case sooner than we would wish.

I know lots of you are very concerned about the complicated issue of children, symptoms, schools and testing. I want to reassure you that I’ve heard this loud and clear; I agree, and we are pushing policymakers to develop a clear and sensible approach UK-wide. We have not forgotten the importance of this and will continue to press the case.

And finally, Brexit hasn’t gone away, and the College continues to prepare for the impact of leaving the EU. We are on the edge of a very critical few weeks and a deal would provide more clarity on next steps, but we must be prepared for the possibility that a deal might not happen. We will be updating our Brexit resources as soon as we know the outcome of the trade deal negotiations. We’ll share more about the impact on our speciality and the NHS in the coming weeks.

That’s all for now. Keep safe and well.

Russell


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