*taken from our October Newsletter
Welcome to our October newsletter, this is the first publication in this format and I hope it makes for an informative read.
As we begin to capture and prepare to communicate our work plan for our end of year annual report, we take stock and report on what has been a busy and productive last few months for the Academy in Wales.
I’ve recently met with Professor Carrie MacEwen, new into her post as Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, updating her on both recent achievements and future plans of the Academy in Wales. Much of this has been outlined in the recent publication of our operational report, I welcomed Carrie’s intention to build upon the reach and influence of the AoMRC, supporting devolved nation agendas. Carrie has kindly written a few of her thoughts in this newsletter edition.
We recently appointed Abrie Theron (RCoA) to the post of treasurer of the Academy in Wales, and welcomed Isra Hassan (RCoA) as a new trainee voice at council.
We welcome Dr David Bailey and Dr Sara Hunt as Chair and Vice Chair respectively at BMA Wales. I’ve paid tribute to outgoing Chair Dr Phil Banfield. Phil worked tirelessly throughout his tenure, represented his membership diligently, very much championed the importance of values in NHS care and helped forge a positive working relationship between the AMRCW and BMA Wales.
We were pleased to welcome to our recent Council meeting Dr Chris Jones recently appointed as Chair of the newly formed Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), combining WEDS and the Wales Deanery. This development could significantly change the provision of education and training for health professionals in Wales with a focus on meeting the needs of the Welsh population. We are keen to work with HEIW to ensure a fair and effective system for training our future workforce and supporting our existing workforce.
I was delighted to be present for the AoMRC board of trustees in London and attend the recent AoMRC policy day. I highlighted how a project focus has enabled us to engage closely with our member colleges and wider stakeholders within health in Wales to produce documentation and resource which is of increasing value to our membership.
We recently contributed to the BBC Wales feature on ’20 years since devolution’, and likewise garnered press attention in commenting on prospective plans for a third medical school in Wales.
Of significance, is the recent release of our ‘Professional Behaviours and Communications across the Primary and Secondary Care Interface’ project, led by Dr Jane Fenton May, which has been well received by medical colleges and colleagues throughout health care in Wales. We continue to disseminate this work and have committed to further explore this work area, considering ‘systemic issues’ that affect the interface. We are currently inviting partners with an interest in joint working on this project.
We have also produced a statement on the doctor’s role in responding to individuals with gender identity issues. This work has been welcomed by WG Cabinet Secretary and follows on from the announcement of a new adult gender identity service that is to be established in Wales.
Recently, We’ve contributed to the NHS Primary Care Reference Group, NHS Wales Revalidation Delivery Board, and have council members contributing to the AoMRC Genomics stakeholder group and New Care Model Delivery group. We also look forward to the UK Advisory Forum, hosted by GMC Wales.
Additionally, We contributed to the recent Welch Medical Committee workshop and look forward to building upon the recognition our voice has gathered as a forum of ‘non-statutory’ clinical advice to Welsh Government. We benefit from a strong engagement with Welsh Government and are grateful for attendance from the Chief Medical Officer at Council and regular consultation with the Health Minister. We look forward to our next meeting, towards the end of November.
I am delighted that Welsh Government have funded Choosing Wisely in Wales for another two years. We’ll soon be reporting on the impact on shared decision making on Stage 4 cancer. I’ve recently returned from the Choosing Wisely International Symposium in Amsterdam. We have a strong focus on patient engagement and shared decision making and are keen to ensure robust evaluation of what we do. We can both learn from other countries and share our experience. Our focus this year will be on treatment decisions in late stage cancer and I am pleased we will be working with teams in Velindre and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.. It was also great to hear anticipation and recognition for Choosing Wisely within the Chief Medical Officers presentation at Council, Choosing Wisely is embedded into the prudent healthcare ethos.
We are responding to expressions of concern regarding inappropriate interventions for people in the final stages of life limiting illness by setting up a project looking at how and when doctors communicate with patients that curative treatment is no longer going to be effective. We recognise this involves difficult conversations that many doctors do not feel confident in undertaking. It links well to our work in Choosing Wisely
Our profile in Wales is on the up! We are grateful for this recognition from our member colleges who have committed membership to our group and we continue to promote the recent work of the Academy and value of membership in Wales, whilst looking to attract others to join us.
Lastly, I hope you enjoy reading up on the latest activity from the Academy within this newsletter. I am especially grateful for recent contributions to our professional opinion series of articles from Sue Hill (RCS) and Jane Fenton-May (RCGP).
Dr Paul Myres
Chair | Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Wales