Firstly, the theme of molecular pathology comes to a close, with articles on the blood grouping of inherited red cell disorders and non-invasive pre-natal screening using the fetal DNA which is present in maternal plasma. This theme, originally intended for one or two issues, has provided close to 20 articles in no fewer than five issues, a clear demonstration of how genomic analysis is underpinning every area of pathology.
The ‘On the Agenda’ section includes an update on Zika virus, which is very timely as we reflect on the Olympic and Paralympic successes in Rio. There is also a report on the medical examiners’ roundtable event; this topic is relevant for the practice of every clinician and has the potential to transform clinical governance. The section also includes thought-provoking articles on consent for research in the digital age and the role of neuropathology in supporting the coronial service. We are nothing if not diverse!
During the last year, the College has re-established a Lay Governance Group (LGG), a function which is of huge importance to how we conduct our business and produce our guidance. This issue features profiles of the members, and a summary of their work to date and over the next year. The College Annual Report which accompanies this issue also includes a feature on the LGG.
As always, there is much to report from the International Team. From forensics in Nigeria to gynaecological pathology in Moldova, the team always seeks to enable lasting change for long-term patient benefit. On a lighter note, there is a report from the extremely successful London to Paris cycle ride, and a plea to get involved in the various challenges for 2017. After weeks on the sofa watching the amazing Olympians and even more wonderful Paralympians in Rio, it’s now time to get fit and involved in these worthwhile efforts. Finally, there is a ‘Point of View’ article on what Brexit might mean for pathology. I am hoping for some lively correspondence on this issue! Please note the forthcoming ‘Pathology is Global’ day on 1 November, which will focus on the role of pathology during humanitarian crises, followed rapidly by International Pathology Day on 16 November, the theme of which is training in pathology.
By the time you read this, we will be on the home straight towards National Pathology Week, running from 7 to 13 November. This year, there will be events in both Newcastle upon Tyne and London, with a reception at the Centre for Life in Newcastle on the evening of Wednesday, 9 November, followed by Council the next day. No doubt many of you have volunteered to support local events. It is always impressive to see how much commitment trainees put into public engagement and this bodes well for our future.
So what for the Bulletin in 2017? To succeed the theme of molecular pathology, we propose to give the floor to some of our smaller specialties, in a series of articles, ‘Small is Beautiful’. Now that annual summaries from the Specialty Advisory Committees are not a feature of the College Annual Report, we thought it was timely for members to share the issues and developments that affect these smaller specialties. In fact, many specialty areas of pathology have fewer than 100 consultants, some fewer than 50, so together they represent a not insignificant proportion of our practice. We already have an article ready from Veterinary Pathology, and I have written to SAC Chairs to commission more. Of course, it is possible to deliver a ‘Small’ (or indeed ‘Big’) service to one Trust or a series of Trusts across a local geography. The success of different models is relevant in the context of the Carter report, so articles describing what has worked (or perhaps not worked) will be welcome and I am sure will be of interest to all.
By the time the January Bulletin goes to press, we will know who our next President will be. A profile will appear in a later edition, closer to the handover in autumn 2017. In the meantime, we will have updates from our three Vice-Presidents in January on the huge amount of work they have undertaken on our behalf and spanning all College activities.
Bulletin October 2016 Number 176
The last issue of The Bulletin for 2016 contains the last article on the theme of molecular pathology, an update on the Zika virus and a report of on the medical examiners’ roundtable event.