The England Regional Council (ERC) was formed in 2016 with ambitions to represent the members and fellows of the College through a structure of Regional Advisors working with the four English Regional Representatives who are elected to College Council. It was designed to work alongside successfully operating Regional Councils in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The ERC was chaired initially by Dr Suzy Lishman and subsequently by Professor Kate Gould. Over the last year, the ERC has been considering its purpose and future and as part of this, conducted a membership survey for views on how to engage in different ways with members and fellows across England.
One of the main observations has been that members and fellows tend to contact the ‘central’ College with queries rather than to use the ERC structure. This resulted in a decision, made by the ERC itself, to disband its formal structure. Instead, the plan is to move towards more digital and interactive, regionally organised forms of communication and representation. Therefore, the ERC is being wound up and this decision was confirmed by College Council in November 2020.
Providing ways to support and engage members across England is an important College priority. There is much that can be achieved by contributing with and learning from members in all specialties and who work in different interest areas of Pathology and in different regions. The English Regional Representatives are therefore working through new ways to connect with members and to provide suitable representation for the four English regions (North, Midlands and East, South, and London) at College Council. Further news on this will follow in the first few months of 2021.