18 January 2024

The start of 2024 is a good time to reflect on my first six months as BSR president, which have been very busy and rewarding. It’s also the time to look ahead to what needs to be done in the coming year to support the rheumatology community.

There have been many changes within lead roles, and I’ve met many members for the first time, including those who benefitted from the society’s Future Leaders Programme. I am excited to see what leadership opportunities open for them.

I’ve heard about the challenges many in our community are facing, my department included. Acknowledging these challenges is crucial, but it is important to continue recognising our achievements. I’ve received wonderful feedback from clinicians from other specialties, with people commenting on how impressed they are with the work being done at BSR.

Throughout 2024, we will continue working to support our workforce and the services we deliver to our patients. Reviewing applications for the BSR best practice awards has opened my eyes to the wide range of fantastic work being done within our community. I’m keen to explore ways of sharing good practice more widely whenever possible.

Our election results have been announced and I’m looking forward to working with our newly appointed paediatric and adolescent vice president, trustees, journal editor, committee members, and committee chairs. New people in post brings new ideas and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together in 2024.

I’m looking forward to meeting more members throughout the year, especially at our Annual Conference in Liverpool.

There’s plenty to look forward to in 2024 as we continue to deliver our strategy, focusing on excellence, voice, learning, and building a high-performing community. Here are some highlights of what’s in store.

In Practice and Quality

  • The publication of guidelines on foot health, Sjögren’s, Behçets, and interstitial lung disease
  • Showcasing innovation in service design and models of care around the UK through our Best Practice Awards
  • The expansion of NEIAA to cover rarer conditions, providing baseline quality data and a platform for improvement
  • A new approach to campaigning, distributed to members, building on the success of our homecare medicines campaign
  • Welcoming our new editor for Rheumatology and building on our successes for Rheumatology Advances in Practice.

Within Education and Events:

  • The Annual Conference heads to Liverpool, while the Case-based conference is in Leeds, both featuring paediatric content streams
  • An inspiring course programme featuring Core Skills, Ultrasound, dedicated nurse courses, and more
  • Webinars supporting trainee development and more from the Talking Rheumatology podcast series
  • Expansion of our 24/7 digital learning offering and resources so you can manage professional development anytime.

Underpinning all of this within our operational teams we’re:

  • Continuing to grow our community of members, building on the success of partnerships with other organisations to open our community to those who've never been a member
  • Delivering our sustainability strategy
  • Creating a governance strategy to ensure that member voices are always front and center of our decision-making
  • Strengthening our EDI drive to involve a wide range of members from across our committees
  • And we hope to add more award wins to our collection, celebrating our collective achievements.

Here’s to an exciting year ahead.