Chairman's Report for AGM

Author: 
Dr Rob Gregory, Chair ABCD
Date of the announcement: 
Friday, 5 May, 2017

Executive Reshuffle. This will be my last report as Chair, as my term of office will come to an end at the AGM in Belfast on 10th May.  Subject to the approval of the membership my successor will be Dinesh Nagi, currently General Secretary.  I'm sure members will join me in congratulating him, and I have no doubt that the association will enter a new and exciting phase under his leadership.  Russell Drummond exchanges Meetings Secretary for General Secretary, and Dipesh Patel fills the vacancy as Meetings Secretary.  Chris Walton steps down from the executive to make room for me as ex-officio chair.  I am delighted he will stay on as a director of BJDVD Ltd and report to committee about the journal.

The finances will continue to be in the safe hands of Tony Robinson who has agreed to stay on for a further year.  If any member is interested in becoming treasurer in the future please let Dr Dinesh Nagi know so that we can arrange for appropriate training with an opportunity to shadow Tony this year to learn more about the role of treasurer of ABCD.

Activities and Achievements   Reflecting on the last twelve months. ABCD has become even more influential nationally, with representation in most of the diabetes advisory and decision-making bodies.  Most recently we have responded to the DVLA consultation on the proposal to change the legislation regarding driving and diabetes.  We have good working relationships with key stakeholders and have seen progress in a number of areas.  All nations in the UK have made diabetes a priority and all have found money to invest in diabetes at a time when health budgets are under severe pressure.  The clinical work streams have all produced key guidelines and position statements that will contribute to improvements in care for people with diabetes.  The Nationwide Audits of New Therapies have gone global thanks to Bob Ryder and his team.  The inaugural 'ABCD Clinical and Commissioning News - Live' event was sufficiently successful to merit a repeat performance in July 2017; it will bring commissioners and clinicians together in 4 localities.  The establishment of ABCD IPN-UK along with a new corporate membership scheme to support it was a triumph, and the (sugar-free) icing on the cake will be the launch of the ABCD UK Type 1 Clinical Collaborative that will carry forward the type 1 diabetes campaigns.

Challenges  Rapid growth of an organisation brings challenges that my successor and the new executive team will need to confront.  ABCD has been approached by individuals and organisations to give administrative and/or financial support for worthy projects that deserve our help, but with finite resources we cannot do everything, so the committee has difficult choices to make.  Committee has agreed to support the ExTOD/PEAK conference in 2017 in conjunction with JDRF on a one year trial basis.

The funding model of the association depends on corporate support, and successive treasurers have designed schemes that comply with ABPI regulations to cover the whole range of activities.  It is difficult to plan for more than 12 months ahead when companies delay their spending decisions until (after) the last minute.  I am grateful to all our corporate supporters for their continuing support.  Lilly has announced that after 5 highly successful years it is no longer able to be the sole sponsor of the National Consultant Diabetologist Mentorship Scheme.  I am very grateful to Lilly for their support for the scheme since its inception, and for their commitment to see it placed on a firm footing for the future.

Membership Drive  Although membership subscriptions (now tax-deductible) will never be sufficient to pay for everything we wish to do, if we could significantly increase the proportion of eligible consultants and trainees who are members it would also make ABCD even more attractive to corporate supporters.  I attended the YDEF Day in Manchester to promote ABCD and publicise the special offer of a free one year's membership for new SpR members who join in 2017.  I also had the pleasure of interviewing candidates for the YDEF committee.  There were six candidates for one vacancy, and if they are representative of the talent coming through the system, then the future of our specialty is assured.

Dinesh Nagi has submitted the Diabetes and Endocrinology chapter for Medical Care, the RCPL on-line guide to medical specialties.  This is very important, as we will be able to use this in discussions with commissioners and provider organisations.  The most controversial section is the description of workforce numbers, in particular how many consultants are needed to provide a 5-day, and a 7-day service.  Furthermore the 'Getting it Right First Time' Lead for Diabetes will be able to cite it in their discussions with Trusts.  Our website redevelopment is a priority, making everything accessible from abcd.care.

British Journal of Diabetes  Our journal is attracting a growing number of submissions, and we have set ourselves the target of achieving PubMed Central listing in the near future.  An increasing number of publications are appearing on the website ahead of the printed version.  Paul Grant stepped down temporarily as Editor-in-Chief in March 2016 when he was informed that he was under investigation by the GMC.  He has subsequently resigned both as editor and director of BJDVD Ltd.. None of the complaints to the GMC related to activities whilst he was editor.  However we have taken steps to verify and authenticate two original articles co-authored by Dr Grant that were published in BJD.  We are grateful initially to Parth Narendran and subsequently to Marie-France Kong for taking on the role of Acting Editor-in-Chief and producing high quality issues on time.  They have been assisted by a strong team of associate editors on whom we rely for suggested reviewers and timely decisions.

Thanks  I would like to thank my predecessor Chris Walton for his wise counsel, the executive team Dinesh Nagi, Tony Robinson and Russell Drummond for discharging their responsibilities so well and so conscientiously, Huw Jones who has chaired the Academic Sub-committee to such good effect, Dev Singh for his leadership on professional development, and Andy Macklin who has been the public face of ABCD on social media.  Patrick Sharp not only served as Secretary for an extra year, but also chaired the Type 1 diabetes clinical work stream that, produced a fantastic standards document.  Peter Winocour's renal work stream has published a suite of four much-needed guidelines for renal disease and diabetes.  Hermione Price and colleagues have written impressive guidelines on the management of inpatients with diabetes and mental illness.  Alison Gallagher has co-ordinated evidence-based position statements on controversial topics.  I am grateful to the editorial team of BJD for keeping the publication going during difficult times.  The ABCD committee is crammed with talented people who give their time freely to the association in numerous ways.  The trustees have backed the executive financially and with wise advice, and I am pleased that so many of them attend our conferences.  Finally I must thank the ABCD secretariat, Red Hot Irons.  Tricia, Elise, Jen and Kim are used to being asked to do things to ridiculous deadlines, and Joyce keeps an eagle eye on our finances.

It has been a pleasure (mostly) and a privilege (always) to lead ABCD during the last three years.  I look forward to making a contribution for some time to come.