Achievements and aims: 2017 into 2018

Thursday 14 December 2017

It’s time to reflect on our achievements over the past 12 months and look forward to the aims and opportunities for 2018.

Our Strategy 2017–2020 states our objectives for the next three years supported by our two Faculty Annual Plans. These plans have guided what we do for the year.

At the top of the priority list is increasing and supporting the workforce in clinical radiology and clinical oncology for the benefit of patients. Alongside efforts to increase training numbers and attract consultants from overseas, this year saw the launch of Radjobs  – a free web platform developed by one of our clinical radiology trainees that carries job adverts in both specialties.

The launch of our online learning hub as a component of RCR Learning, was a major milestone. The hub contains learning resources for radiology and oncology, clinical and non-clinical topics, as well as links to external sites and RCR educational projects such as READ, Case of the Month and our journals. Huge thanks are due to all of the Fellows and members who contributed to the development of the hub which has already seen over 1,000 sessions undertaken.

RCR publications continue to be a great learning resource. This year saw the publication of the eighth edition of our flagship guidelines, iRefer: making the best use of clinical radiology. A reference tool for those referring to imaging departments, the guidelines help make sure that patients receive the right imaging test at the right time with the minimum exposure to ionising radiation.

The summer saw changes to familiar College activities. Our much valued College Newsletter had an excellent re-design under the direction of our enthusiastic new Editor. Our annual conference, RCR17, was held in Liverpool for the first time attracting incredibly positive feedback. We will be back in Liverpool in September for RCR18.

During RCR17 our Annual General Meeting (AGM) welcomed new Officers Dr Caroline Rubin, Vice-President, Clinical Radiology, Dr Andy Beale, Medical Director, Membership and Business and Dr Frances Yuille, Medical Director, Education and Training, Clinical Oncology. Our thanks go to all Officers for their work over the year, including those who demitted at the AGM.

Officers contribute to the achievements of the College in myriad ways – most visible and increasingly in the media. We now have over 10,200 followers on Twitter, have launched an Instagram account and reinstated our Facebook profile to make sure we’re involved with the online community of members who share views and content there. We secured more than 250  media mentions with the biggest story being the effect of Britain leaving the Euratom Treaty. We have also held a much larger number of meetings with MPs and other key influencers.

Creating a community of members is vital for the RCR so we are always thrilled to welcome our new Fellows. Admission Ceremonies took place in May and November – our congratulations go all those who were admitted this year.

Doing all of this relies on the time and generosity of the Fellows and members who contribute to our work – at any one time at least 300 are working actively with us. Without them, much of what we do would be impossible.  As a tiny insight to that contribution, this incudes those who have submitted a case to READ or Case of the Month, who have reviewed for our journals or written articles for our Newsletter, spoken at our events or served as board and committee members and Officers. All those efforts are of immense value. We also benefit greatly from the small but dedicated group of lay people who bring so much to our work from an independent and very different perspective.

Our President, Nicola Strickland, in closing a year of achievement reflected that ‘2017 has been another challenging year for both our disciplines of clinical radiology and clinical oncology in terms of the severe workforce deficits and the ever increasing amount and complexity of the clinical work we perform. However in spite, of this we have made very considerable progress in raising the public and professional profile of our two specialties, and in highlighting the key role that our specialties play in the whole of medicine, surgery and the cancer pathway,’ and reminds all Fellows and members that, 'There is a way for everyone to become involved in our College. If you want to change something, you have to do so from the inside. I do hope even more Fellows and members choose to become part of our active community in the coming year.’