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This is a work in progress on the history of the society. It will be added to, and corrected, as further information becomes available.

Please contact Dave Horton, using the 'Contact Me' page if you wish to add to add to the BSPR History.

The origins of the society date back to 1976, when Dr Keith Levick was asked by the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) to convene a specialty group on paediatric radiology to review specialty training and to advise on College representation on Advisory Appointments Committees where there was a substantial element of paediatric work. This report was ready by 1979. Subsequent to that report, Dr Levick met with Dr David Baum, chairman of the BPA, and agreed to add a Paediatric Radiology Group to the British Paediatric Association (BPA). The BPA had a long history, beginning in 1928 to promote the study of paediatrics and friendship among paediatricians. In practice, the BPA was an inclusive group of paediatricians, surgeons, radiologists and open to all doctors who were involved in the care of children. Dr Levick and a group of enthusiastic paediatric radiologists colleagues agreed to meet twice a year: at the Spring BPA meeting and a second meeting in the Autumn, by invitation. The first Autumn meeting was arranged in Sheffield.

The meetings continued. The Autumn meetings were held outwith London, as London paediatric radiologists usually did not attend. Subsequently, Dr Sidney Smith from Leeds and then Dr David Pilling from Liverpool became BPA Specialty Convenors. In late 1991, the College and BPA groups were amalgamated as the British Paediatric Radiology and Imaging Group (BPRIG), with Dr David Pilling as the Chairman. This involved a new constitution and executive committee. BPRIG meetings continued at the BPA, and were increasingly well attended.

The ground was shifting at the BPA. The BPA had no statutory functions or political influence because the Royal College of Physicians was responsible for postgraduate training and examination of paediatricians. Throughout the 1970's and 1980's, BPA members began to feel that paediatrics needed to have it's own College. The association received Royal College status in 1996. The BPA ceased to exist and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) took its place.

BPRIG had a crisis of identity, as it was now a group of paediatric radiologists allied with a College that represented the narrower political and professional interests of paediatricians. Paediatric radiologist attendance at the annual RCPCH meeting fell off precipitously. The membership elected to ally itself more closely with the RCR. The 2000 AGM voted a rename as the British Society of Paediatric Radiology. The society had always been a recognised Special Interest Group of the RCR and BPA then RCPCH. These links were formalised. The BSPR achieved Category 1 Special Interest Group Status with the RCR in 2005 and Special Interest Group Status with the RCPCH in 2006. The post of Convener remains as the link to RCPCH, but paediatric radiologist attendance at RCPCH meetings has effectively fallen to zero over the past few years.

The BSPR is now more clearly allied to the RCR and is recognised as the voice of paediatric radiology in the UK. Membership is over 200 paediatric radiologists, general radiologists with a paediatric interest, trainees and retired members. The single, peripatetic Annual Meeting is held in Autumn and usually attended by about half the membership.

Alex Maclennan,

December 2011

Thanks to all that have contributed, especially Kieran McHugh

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