Dr Riina Richardson appointed as Chair of the working group responsible for UK standards for bacteriological, mycological, and parasitological investigations.

Congratulations to Dr Riina Richardson on her appointment as the new Chair of the UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations (UK SMI) Bacteriology Working Group.

Dr Richardson, an Honorary Consultant Medical Mycologist for the NHS Mycology Reference Centre Manchester, based at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), and a Senior Lecturer in Infectious Diseases and Medical Education at the University of Manchester (UoM), will work closely with the Standards Unit team to implement the UK SMI 5-year strategy.

The role of UK SMI Working Groups is to recommend and present microbiology standards, which are produced to a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) accredited standard. In addition, the Working Groups review and write UK SMIs in line with the Appraisal of Guidelines Research & Evaluation (AGREE) instrument used for NICE accreditation.

Dr Mifsud, the incumbent Chair, said: “This is an important appointment for the UK SMI initiative. Riina has made a valuable contribution as a member of the Bacteriology Working Group over the last six years, which will continue in her role as Chair using her extensive knowledge and professional approach to working group meetings.”

Dr Richardson, an active member of SMI committees since 2015, is highly experienced clinically and academically, she is extensively published with over 170 peer-reviewed articles to her name in medical mycology, medical microbiology, mucosal immunology, infectious diseases, and oral medicine. Dr Richardson’s commitment and dedication to her field is beyond question; she is: Chair for the international Fungal PCR Initiative (FPCRI) Pneumocystis Working Group, UK representative for the European Confederation of Medical Mycology (ECMM) Academy, the Mycologist on the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) UK National Guideline on the Management of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis working group, is actively involved with the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) working groups, and education officer of the ESCMID Fungal Study Group (ESIFG).

Dr Richardson said: “It is a privilege to be appointed Chair of the UK SMI Bacteriology Working Group. I look forward to using my experience, knowledge and leadership skills to support the creation, publication and maintenance of evidence-based standards for microbiology investigations.”

UK SMIs have been developed since 1996 by working groups of experienced medical and scientific microbiologists from throughout the UK. The UK SMI 5-year strategy sets out the UK SMI mission, strategic vision and business objectives in the context of national strategy documents. The plan conforms with the aims of ‘The NHS Long Term Plan’ and links to several national strategies, including the UK’s 20-year vision for antimicrobial resistance and Public Health England’s Infectious Diseases Strategy 2020-2021.