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Issue 146 Winter 2022

Endocrinologist > Winter 2022 > Society News


| Society News

The Future of Endocrinology working group is continuing its essential work to steer the evolution of our field. Find out what progress is being made and how you can help provide valuable information.

COVID-19 has clearly been an enormous concern over the last two years. However, even before that, the Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT) review visits in endocrinology (carried out in 2018–2019 and published in 2021) gave us food for thought.

There were real concerns about the viability of endocrinology services in the UK, with increasing referrals, pressures on clinic capacity, referral for procedures and a precarious workforce.

'We have an opportunity to use what we have learnt (through the pandemic) and create endocrine services which place our patients firmly at the centre of what we do.'

It was against that background that, over the period of lockdown, the Society set up a working group to examine these pressures. This was initially in response to COVID-19, but with a wider remit to look at the changes that would help the specialty to adapt and develop. The resulting report was entitled ‘Defining the Future of Endocrinology’ (DfE), and was presented at the Society for Endocrinology BES conference in Edinburgh in November 2021.

The Society’s Clinical Committee has set up a working group of clinicians in primary and secondary care and tertiary centres, to see how we move forward to make the most important changes that we need for the specialty. From GIRFT and DfE there are over 40 wide-ranging recommendations. It’s clear we need to focus on those which are the most relevant and pressing.


Your assistance, as members of the Society, is crucial in enabling us to assess what endocrine services across the UK are doing already. We also need to know what you find to be the most challenging issues, and where there may be resistance to change from your employers. Most of all, we need to know what you feel are the most important priorities for us to develop for the specialty.

To gather this information, we are circulating a questionnaire to all members this autumn. Our aim is to get a baseline, invite comments and understand where we need to go with this important work, to address your needs. We will be able to discuss our progress at SfE BES 2022 in Harrogate this November. The Society is also hosting a webinar as part of the clinical skills series on 29 September, where clinicians will discuss the issues around outpatient transformation that they have identified in making changes to improve services.

Attend the webinar on 19 September or watch later via the Members' Area


'Endocrinology services must be transformed to make them more patient centric and safe whilst delivering the highest quality in clinical care and training.'

On the wider stage, we are working with the Clinical Reference Group and our peer review process to get an overview and to support services in making the changes that they feel are necessary for their local circumstances. We are liaising with NHS England and with the other UK nations, to ensure that we have a means to influence policy around our specialty. There are joint webinars promoted by NHS England to cover this area, and jointly approved documents around outpatient transformation. We are also in discussion with the Royal College of General Practitioners to support our primary care colleagues, allowing us to promote good management of endocrine problems in our local populations.

Going forward, we will continue to report on progress and take feedback from all clinicians in endocrinology, to ensure that the specialty remains relevant and flourishing for the future.

Doug Robertson
Consultant Endocrinologist, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Chair, Defining the Future of Endocrinology Implementation Working Group; Member, Society for Endocrinology Clinical Committee


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