Update from Officer for Scotland - December 2020

Professor Steve Turner, RCPCH Officer for Scotland, addresses members working across Scotland in the final update for 2020. Steve provides updates on the end of his time as Scottish Officer for RCPCH, changes in the Scottish team and office, news from the Scottish Paediatric Society meeting and updates on Flow Navigation Centres and the coronavirus vaccination programme.
Steve Turner

Festive greetings to you all. You may be aware that I am reaching the end of my time as your Scottish Officer and we are all delighted that Mairi Stark is the incoming Officer, due to take over at the end of January 2021. 

I write this on 11 December which is apparently two weeks before Christmas day. Lots going on but here are some things to share with you.

Education, education, education

The Scottish Paediatric Society met (virtually) last month and the meetings was a great success. Although I missed the socialising of the face-to-face format, the event was very well attended and presentations of an international standard. Well done to the team. I suspect the genie is out of the bottle now and all future educational meetings will involve face-to-face and virtual attendees and presenters.

If you registered for the event but missed all or some of it, or you want to revisit one of the presentations, you can access the event presentations on the RCPE website (you will have username and password).

COVID vaccination programme

This has actually started. A remarkable multidisciplinary and international journey is on its way towards (hopefully) ending the pandemic. Like all good things, there is a not-so-good side to vaccination. At the time of writing some members, for example those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, may not be suitable for vaccination. Additionally there is limited evidence of effectiveness in 12-16 year olds and none in <12 year olds, and this leaves our patients, their carers and clinical teams uncertain about who should be vaccinated and when.

The College has advice on this still uncertain area.

Flow navigation centres

You may have spotted that pathways of unscheduled care for older children (and adults) changed last week. The redesign of unscheduled care is with us for the long term and recognises that there is a spectrum of urgency in those presenting to emergency departments. The College is represented on a short life working group which will propose what an unscheduled pathway for children would look like.

Updates from RCPCH Scotland

Scotland office closure

The College's office in Edinburgh formally closes in January but this will not diminish the Scottish presence at RCPCH. The closure is simply due to staff in all devolved offices preferring to work from home. RCPCH will arrange a venue for ad hoc meetings which previously would have taken place on Queen Street.

Claire Burnett 

Claire “RCPCH Scotland” Burnett has decided to retire at the end of this month after being the beating heart of the college in Scotland for 15 years. All good things have to come to an end.

It is difficult to say just how important Claire has been to each and every one of us. She has made an enduring difference to children, parents and carers and members in Scotland, and we are all in her debt.


You may have noted that you are not actually rid of me. I am delighted to have been appointed your Registrar from April 2021. This means that two of the ten senior RCPCH officers are from Scotland. I think this is good for College and for Scotland (but I would say that, wouldn’t I?).

Many thanks for all your help, support and kind words. I hope I earn more over the coming years.

The College sends a regular eBulletin to RCPCH members working in Scotland and opted in to receive College updates / professional updates. You can update your contact preferences at any time - log in to your RCPCH online account, go to My account | Your contact preferences, then make sure you've ticked College updates / professional updates. From your account dashboard you can also check your work details and other information.