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At the end of every rainbow | work–life balance | consultant appointments

Looking back at Pride month, Dr Olwen Williams, RCP vice president for Wales discusses visibility, inclusivity and diversity in medicine, and highlights upcoming RCP events in Cardiff.

As we come to the end of Pride month, I’ve been reflecting on the importance of visibility, inclusivity and diversity within medicine and how our attitudes, unconscious biases and actions can both positively and negatively impact our patients. Of the UK nations, Wales has the highest percentage of individuals presenting with a late diagnosis of HIV infection. Interestingly, these individuals are more likely to be older and heterosexual. Why are we not offering them HIV testing?

The draft HIV action plan for Wales 2022 to 2026 is now out for consultation – please do send your feedback to the Welsh government. The aim is to eliminate new cases of HIV in Wales by 2030 and we must all play a part in delivering this. In the meantime, I will be attending North Wales Pride to promote increased access to HIV testing and PrEP.

Monkeypox remains a concern. While Wales has only seen a few cases, it’s important that we are vigilant, as we do not wish the condition to become endemic. There is an identification, management and vaccination plan in place and each health board has developed a contingency plan.

The Welsh government has just published revised guidance on consultant appointments, which reiterates the need for royal college involvement in the process at an early stage from job description approval to membership of the appointment committee. Please contact your local regional adviser as soon as you are aware that a new or replacement post is being planned: the earlier we know, the more quickly we can approve a post. The RCP led this work with Welsh government on behalf of the Welsh Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and we would like to hear from you if you have any concerns: Lowri.Jackson@rcp.ac.uk.

The UK Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has recently published Medical Appraisal Guide (MAG) 2022. It also seems apt at this point to remind you of the GMC Good medical practice consultation, which closes on 20 July.

Remember to book your space at this year’s RCP Update in medicine in Cardiff on 24 November. It will our first face-to-face conference since 2019 and we have an exciting line up of speakers for you! We’re also hosting our second-ever membership ceremony here in Wales on 23 November, so if you have recently become an RCP fellow or passed MRCP, please do join us for a unique celebration.

If there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow, I’m afraid I’ve yet to find one, but I continue to be optimistic.

Membership events

New consultants forum – Wales (virtual) – 20 September 2022

At our annual Wales New consultants forum we will be joined by Christopher Saunders, assistant secretary of BMA Cymru Wales to talk about job planning and the Wales consultant contract while Dr Ruth Alcolado, medical director NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership will discuss ‘the bigger picture of patient safety and how you know your service is safe’. The forum is open to all new consultants in the first 5 years in post, SAS doctors and registrars in their final year of training. It is free for RCP subscribing members and offers 2 CPD credits. Book now.

Joint new member and fellow ceremony – Wales – 23 November 2022

This event is for all new members and fellows who have not attended a ceremony in London. New members and fellows will be presented with their diploma during a unique Welsh-themed celebration of their achievements. As well as the formal ceremony, there will be musical entertainment and a celebratory reception. New members can book now. New fellows should email Wales@rcp.ac.uk to receive a special link to book. Guests are welcome. 

Update in medicine – Cardiff – 24 November 2022

Following our joint new member and fellow ceremony, we will hold our first face-to-face Update in medicine since November 2019. Join us in person on 24 November 2022 for an exciting programme, which will cover a diverse range of topics from leading physicians across Wales.