Annual Newsletter 2013

by Dr Alan Nye
on 1st January 2014

Dear Colleague

I am delighted to be taking up the role of President of the Primary Care Rheumatology Society and would like to first thank Louise Warburton the past president for all her hard work over her two years in post.

It is a very challenging time for Primary Care and for Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal services and I feel the PCR and its members are ideally placed to influence the further development of high quality services both in general practice and in specialist services. At long last and after many years of lobbying we have a National Clinical Director of MSK Services. Interviews have taken place, but at the time of writing a formal announcement is still to be made of the successful applicant. However there was a very strong field and whoever is finally appointed will be more than able to give some much needed National leadership for MSK Services. Other developments have seen the appointment of a co-ordinator for a MSK network, a post funded by the national commissioning board and hosted by the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance. ARMA has also established a work stream to develop MSK networks and I and Louise Warburton are sitting on this group so the PCR has good representation.

Myself and Louise have also had a number of meetings with Chris Deighton, the President of the British Society for Rheumatology, and both organisations are keen to develop stronger links and the BSR is keen to support the PCR. This is no way threatens the independence of the PCR but I am sure both sides will benefit from stronger links.

Last year’s PCR conference in York was a great success, with a great mix of training seminars covering joint injections, biologics and new treatments in RA and general examination techniques. We also had a special section of GP trainees that was well supported. Next year’s conference promises to be equally as good.

This year’s conference will be held on the 21st – 23rd November in York. We have a variety of workshops planned including previous popular topics (anterior knee pain, sports medicine, back pain) but also looking at new areas. There will be workshops covering the biologic agents used in rheumatology, pain management techniques and osteopathy. Steve Longworth will be reviewing the new advances over the past year in a keynote presentation and a speaker from the Medical Protection Society will be discussing the medico legal pitfalls of managing musculoskeletal problems. Professor David Blake will also be returning to enlighten us further on the other rules which he alluded to in last year’s presentation. His rule of ”I’m going to examine you carefully” has become a classic so we look forwards to hearing what other rules he has for us.

The PCR website is also up and running. Hopefully you have found it more user friendly. A lot of work still remains to be done and we hope to have further changes added before the summer holidays. These changes will make it easy for all members to request for articles and events to be added to the website using simple and fast pro-formas which Helen or Alastair can then review and authorise. We are also aiming to start using the social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and linking status updates with the events and documents as they are uploaded onto the website. Please could we request that anyone who knows of events or has articles they think worthy of inclusion on the website to let us know: for the moment by emailing Helen. Similarly any ideas and suggestions are always welcome for how we can improve things.

I hope you agree the PCR membership provides great value for money and I would encourage you to renew your membership, also we would be happy to welcome back any past members how are thinking of re-joining.

Best wishes

Dr Alan Nye

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