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Vice President Jacqui Clinch on the year just gone and her work to improve representation for the paediatric and adolescent rheumatology community.


As we enter 2021, COVID-19 continues to heavily impact on our personal and professional lives. As Vice President at British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) and a paediatric and adolescent consultant, I really feel that our paediatric and adolescent community has more than risen to the challenge, showing incredible strength of character and an ability to adapt and innovate in these toughest of times.


During this particularly tough time I’d like to signpost every member reading this to BSR's mentoring service. This is a valuable support resource for our members (during the pandemic and beyond) and something we're continually developing based on your feedback.


Improving representation and opportunities for our members is key. Through the recent elections process, I’m thrilled we secured paediatric and adolescent representation across all committees and the Board, and urge you to make contact with these committees with ideas or feedback. All of our fantastic paediatric and adolescent representatives for clinical affairs, education, training, conference, research and registries can be found on our Committees page.


To ensure we (and I!) keep abreast of all that is happening from the wide range of committees and across our community, I've maintained quarterly meetings (previously BSpaR Council meetings) for paediatric and adolescent representatives (those on committees and other key co-opted positions). I hope to have regular updates from these to share with you.


I'm currently particularly focused on ensuring paediatric and adolescent allied health professionals (AHPs) and clinical nurse specialists (CNS’) are well-represented across the society's work. As a truly interdisciplinary specialty, it is vital that our strategies are informed by the breadth of the membership and we are working hard to achieve this.


COVID-19 update

Members worked tirelessly during 2020 within seemingly impossible timeframes to produce shielding, vaccine, disease updates and wellbeing documents for clinicians and families. Truly outstanding work. We held a successful COVID-19 and Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS-TS) webinar; there are more to come!


COLLABORATIONS

We’re excited to be working with:

  • Versus Arthritis on the UK JIA Biologics Register: jointly funding the merger and future work of two vital JIA registry studies

  • Royal College for Paediatric and Child Health (RCPCH): many of our members worked closely with the college, shaping its ‘State of Child Health 2020’ and ‘Paediatric 2040’ reports. In addition, we’re co-badging a content stream focusing on rheumatology at RCPCH’s 2021 conference. Get your abstracts submitted as soon as possible

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on advice and policies

  • Public Health England and NHS England: preventative musculoskeletal (MSK) health measures for young people and developmentally appropriate transition services

  • Clinical Reference Group on a service specification, dashboard and Paediatric Global MSK framework, dedicated to improving equitable access for MSK healthcare across all nations


There are exciting and challenging times ahead and I look forward to working alongside you all. Please take care, take your annual leave and don’t hesitate to contact me with ideas/feedback.