After far too many years in the educational system, autumn always feels to me like the start of the year.
For the College, though, this autumn really does herald a new beginning, with the exciting move to our new building in Alie Street, reported on p242. The challenges of creating this wonderful building made it into Construction News, and I am sure there will be many more successes within its portals over the decades. We have also relaunched our careers leaflets (p230), for use at all interactions with schools, colleges, universities and the public. Rewriting the content of the leaflets forced us
to finally get to grips with the thorny question of our specialties – how many do we have, and what are they? See Council’s conclusions on this issue on p246.
This issue of the Bulletin concludes our themed articles on vaccination. The report on what has been achieved towards polio eradication in Pakistan (p226) is both heart-breaking and inspiring, a must read for everyone of whatever specialty. We also report on the new human papillomavirus vaccination programme (p221), its predicted benefits and its impact on the way cervical screening will operate (p224). Correspondence on this topic is welcomed. Sticking with viruses, we include an article on point of care testing for influenza (p239) – an interesting approach to patients who can present across the hospital.
The impact of digital pathology and IT generally continues to generate new approaches to service delivery. We continue to educate politicians and ourselves about the scope of digital pathology (p256), while its benefits on work–life balance are well illustrated on p257. In microbiology, we report on a system of electronic consults (p261). What is striking about these various developments is the rigour with which the governance issues have been considered and incorporated into the process. Back in the physical world, we are delighted to report on CM-Path’s liquid biopsy workshops and the multi-organisation consensus statement produced from the workshops’ findings (p259). The full consensus statement can be found on our website at: www.rcpath.org/bulletin-october2018.
Our Small is Beautiful feature returns on p235, this time featuring genetics – another small specialty punching well above its weight in scope and influence. This is essential reading to understand how the translation of the 100,000 Genomes Project is progressing, both scientifically and organisationally. With two more small specialty reports in the pipeline, these articles are invaluable in explaining the scope of pathology to external audiences, as well as keeping us all interested in the breadth of our world.
A novel exercise in self-reflection was launched by the British Society for Haematology at its Annual Scientific Meeting. Trainees were asked to present areas where the profession is failing to meet patient needs. Read the winning article on sickle cell disease on p266. Something for other specialties to consider? Colleagues in Wales report on running a mock RCPath in histopathology (p264) – a great boon for their trainees. We also include the results of the Learning Environment for Pathology Trainees (LEPT) system satisfaction survey, and the experience of a trainee clinical scientist in clinical biochemistry.
All members will be interested in the results of the UK membership survey (p244), with important implications for the running of the College. Round the UK, there is lots going on, with symposia in Wales and Northern Ireland. The report of laboratory reorganisation in Scotland (p248) provides food for thought for members in other parts of the UK. Our international team continue to provide support further afield (p253), with Part 2 FRCPath in histopathology and the very successful International Summer School, both held in Cairo.
It is with great sadness that we include an appreciation of Dr William Tong (p274), who died shortly after stepping down as our Senior Examiner in Virology. His death was a great shock to colleagues and family, and the warmth of the contributions attest to the respect and affection with which he was viewed. More cheerfully, please celebrate the lifetime achievement award to Professor Keith Hyde at the Healthcare Science Awards (p271) – thoroughly well deserved. Our Fellows continue to make an impact at national and international level, and there will be more successes to report in 2019. It’s much too early to wish you a Happy Christmas, so instead I will hope to see you exploring the new facilities of the College.