Welcoming new members and looking ahead - President’s update

Steve reflects on the recent Membership Ceremony in Manchester where members, fellows, family and friends gathered to celebrate new paediatricians. There is also information on all the ways to get involved at the College and an update on the recently announced UK General Election.
Photo from our Membership Ceremony in Manchester on 21 May with members wearing ceremonial robes and holding certificates

We held a membership ceremony in Manchester on 21 May, to present certificates to members and fellows. These ceremonies are a great opportunity to briefly get off the rollercoaster of day-to-day life, and reflect and feel good about being a paediatrician. The new members have passed their exams and are looking forward to moving along on their career journey. The new fellows are consultants or SAS doctors and are also looking ahead. Attendees had travelled to join the celebration from a myriad of places including Salford, Southampton, Inverness, Kuala Lumpur and Calcutta.

A key part of the occasion are the children, friends and families all there to enjoy the day. Being a paediatrician needs a great support team! Some children joined their parent on the stage, whilst others ran round up and down the aisles having great fun.

Our College offers support to members as they move along their lifelong careers in paediatrics. We have the award winning Choose Paediatrics to engage with medical students and foundation doctors. There is an ST1 induction guide and a Trainee toolkit for members as they progress through their training. Our Stepping Up programme helps trainees make the transition to being a consultant. For Consultants and SAS grade doctors around the world we offer continuous professional training, and opportunities to develop skills in leadership and research. Thrive Paediatrics is beginning to take root and support members' wellbeing in the workplace. And for those of us closer to the end of our career than the start, our senior members group is active in offering a community of support for those approaching retirement or already retired. None of this would happen without members getting involved in our College.  

#WDYCD4Y What Does Your College Do For You: Guidelines Hub

As paediatricians, we regularly use clinical guidelines to manage conditions affecting children. Did you know that our College has NICE accreditation to produce these guidelines? We develop our own guidelines and also support specialty groups to create new, up-to-date guidelines, which you can find in our guideline directory. You can participate in various ways: responding to consultations, learning how to develop high quality guidelines, and becoming guideline advisers. Over the coming year, we will create more opportunities for members to get involved, including an autumn webinar and workshop. You can express your interest using this form.

UK Election – 4 July 2024

The Prime Minister has announced a UK election in six weeks’ time – on 4 July 2024. More than 100 MPs have said they will be standing down, which means that, whatever the overall outcome, there will be huge changes in Parliament. We published our manifesto last year with a refresh in March, alongside a leaflet for members on how you can raise the profile of these issues locally. In the coming weeks we will put together further tools for you to highlight the importance of paediatrics and child health with your local candidates. Watch this space.  

Whooping cough

As you will be aware, data published across the four nations and Europe shows cases of whooping cough are continuing to increase. This week, we published a response, which signposts the latest data and shares a few key resources for healthcare professionals. Work is underway in collaboration with other Royal Colleges to bring together more comprehensive information to support paediatricians, patients and their families, and should be available in the coming weeks.  

Our latest round of volunteering opportunities is now open

As mentioned above, there are lots of ways you can get involved with the College and the work we do. See our latest volunteering opportunities, including an Assistant Registrar and a new Officer for Clinical Standards and Quality Improvement. We also have several opportunities to get involved in the update of our Facing the Future service standards, as either a clinical lead or a working group member. We couldn’t do important work like this without our valuable volunteers, so please take a look and consider applying if there is something that sparks your interest – the deadline for the latest round is 10 June.   

Launch of new child health consortium in Wales

This week RCPCH launched the Welsh Royal Colleges Child Health Collaborative (WRCCHC). As a group of 20 Royal Colleges and professional bodies, we wrote to the First Minister of Wales to ask how his government will improve child health and support the workforce that care for them. The launch was picked up by BBC News, with Nick Wilkinson, RCPCH Wales Officer appearing on BBC Wales Radio Breakfast and local media outlets. A full list of the Royal Colleges and professional bodies involved is on our website.  

New child health report in Northern Ireland  

On 17 May the Northern Irish Public Health Agency released the latest Children’s Health in Northern Ireland Statistics for 2022/23. The figures are stark, with persistent rates of obesity and unhealthy weight, falling immunisations and significant disparities between the most and least deprived areas. We know that prevention of ill health is absolutely key for the health of our society, and we are continuing to call the NI Executive to prioritise children and take action.

Wishing you all my very best,


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