The annual St Davids Day conference was held this year at the centrally located Marriott Hotel. The conference was dedicated to the Wellbeing and Health of the child in Wales. With a program as exciting and varied from talk to workshops and a whole host of guest speakers it is clear to see why it was a sell-out. Huge congratulations to our very own Tom Crom on getting such a program together.
This month’s blog post is dedicated to the St Davids Day conference. It has given us as trainees a time to reflect on the health of the child in Wales and the importance of the role we play here as well as remembering why we chose the Paediatric specialty. With the conference closing with the PAFTAs the day was also a chance to celebrate our achievements and successes throughout the year.
Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus i bawb now let’s hear from our trainees…
A chance to be inspired
Any healthcare professional who looks after children on a regular basis, knows that treating a physical illness is often only a temporary measure. Children living in poverty are, on average, much more likely to contract physical and psychological illnesses, whilst almost always lacking the means to improve their living standards. This is true for children living in Wales today, where it is estimated that 29% of children and young people live in poverty (a significantly higher proportion, compared with the adult and elderly population). It is also true that the gap between the richest and poorest is widening.
These figures were no surprise to me. I have worked in Paediatrics for nearly four years, both in England and Wales, and have looked after countless children, whose parents did not have sufficient money or education to give them the care they deserved. It is therefore essential, as Professor Viner clearly highlighted, that we all have to take small steps to address health inequality, and be advocates for our children in any way we can. We have a voice and it is time for that voice to be heard. Isn’t that the reason we decided to do what we do?
The St David’s Day conference this year was a brilliant chance to network, socialise, and learn. I am extremely grateful to all the speakers for inspiring us, and giving us food for thought; needless to say, the organisation was excellent.
Davide Paccagnella, ST3 Trainee
A byte-size snapshot
Well, blow me down, that was a brilliant conference! So many excellent speakers on a range of whole range of topics! Perhaps for me, the best thing about it was just how approachable the speakers were. Stacey Harris and I managed to catch up with pretty much every speaker (apart from a couple who had to head home early) and interview them for Dragon Bytes. Turns out you can be the Chief Medical Officer for Wales or a famous television presenter and still be the most down-to-Earth people ever. It was lovely discussing the talks further with such renowned speakers, getting additional insights into their areas of expertise. Also, the PAFTA event after the conference was fabulous! I’ve never been so proud to be a Wales trainee. Hats off to both Tom Cromarty and Hannah Davies for doing so much hard work for this event!
Hope that's alright! Let me know if you need more.
I really enjoyed the St David’s Day conference in the Marriott. It was a great experience both to learn more on the topics discussed and to have the chance to speak to others trainees who work in different hospitals or departments. It was uplifting to have a segment on celebrating trainees and to see it having defined area of the day. It is so common to hear about how bad things are in paediatrics especially with rota gaps, trainee unhappiness, high number of patients. However, it was very enjoyable and amazing to see all of the good things that current trainees are doing and to see this being celebrated!
Being a Welsh Trainee
Having done my 8 years of Paediatric training across three deaneries, I've always had the fortune of recognising what a special, wonderful place Wales is for paediatric training.
Smaller hospitals, tight knit professional communities and a fabulous network for training, learning and providing patient care are at the centre of it.
But also, Wales is a fascinating place - culturally, linguistically, geographically and in terms of its pathologies and medical system. I came here is 2012 and was hooked in weeks.
The St David's Day Conference is central to that, with both social and educational benefits. It's wonderful to work in a system with real local Accountability, proximity to policy makers and experts and the opportunity to be among friends in similar circumstances. So many of the people I work with every day are an inspiration. The quality of the work we do here is astounding, supported by our training infrastructure (thanks, Dr Body!) and other networks, such as WREN.
Kate Burke ST8
Inspiration from our colleagues
This was the first year I was able to attend the St David's Day conference and so I was looking forward to it greatly. The programme was exciting with current topics such as childhood obesity and use of screen time. A highlight for me was the talk from Dr Jennifer Evans and a previous patient of hers, Mercy. The talk was engaging and interesting, hearing the challenges of managing a chronic condition from both perspectives. I found it very inspiring to hear the exceptional doctor- patient relationship that can be made and how that positively impacts on management of a chronic condition. It was quite emotional hearing how much Mercy thought of Dr Evans, and how they had both impacted each other’s lives.
Not only were the talks a great part of the day, but the opportunity to catch up with colleagues was brilliant. It reminded me how lucky we are to have such a tight knit deanery where we all know one another so well. As an ST3 approaching the daunting step up to registrar, it was so lovely to have such encouragement and advice from colleagues and friends. We in the welsh deanery are exceptionally lucky to have such support in one another, which ultimately contributes to making training here in Wales so great. It was lovely to acknowledge this by finishing the day with the PAFTAs. It was wonderful to hear so much praise and recognition for our tutors, peers and allied health colleagues.
The St David's Day conference was educational, enjoyable and highlighted the fantastic family feeling trainees here in Wales are lucky to have.
I had the pleasure of organising the Wales PAFTA awards this year.
The response to the survey was incredible!
It was amazing to see the volume of votes for so many inspirational wonderful people.
We are so very lucky in the Wales paediatric deanery. It’s a very inclusive, welcoming and supportive environment. It made me realise we aren’t just an academic body but more of a family who champion each other’s journeys and achievements.
The comments highlighted academic success and messages or acts of support. It was a real eye opener to see that even little acts of kindness/inspiration go such a long way in the sometimes very harsh medical environment we work in daily.
It was very important to me that all of this year’s nominees received an email notification. Without everyone’s amazing contributions, large or small, our experience in the deanery would be very different.
This year’s winners were presented their awards following the incredible St.Davids day conference In Cardiff. The atmosphere was one of incredible positivity... which may or may not have had something to do with the prosseco wall!
I hope all those who attended or received a notification felt their contribution was valued and that the positivity helps us strive to make 2020/21 an even more successful inspirational year.
Dr Annabel Greenwood