19 December 2018

I am looking forward to the approaching Christmas downtime and the joyous spirit of ushering in another year. This last year has had its share of happy and sad events. We lost a number of Haematology colleagues, including two eminent past BSH Presidents: Dr Mitch Lewis (BSH President 1983/84) who founded UK NEQAS and author of the popular Dacie & Lewis Practical Haematology textbook, and Professor Sir David Weatherall (BSH President 1980/81) who was Professor of Haematology at Liverpool before moving to Oxford as Professor of Medicine. I did not have the pleasure of meeting Dr Lewis but met Professor Weatherall on a few occasions, who impressed me by recollecting that we both had career-shaping experiences at both Liverpool and Johns Hopkins University. BSH salutes these giants of British Haematology who enabled and inspired so many of us to come into this exciting specialty.

BSH in 2018 has been singularly focused on growing a thriving Haematology community. Among our highlights and achievements are:

  1. Increasing membership, from 1649 in December 2017 to 1788 in December 2018.
  2. Increasing trainee engagement with greater representation in BSH Committees and the successful trainee-led Crucible session at the 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM).
  3. The 2018 BSH ASM had over 1300 attendees; the highest ever for a standalone meeting.
  4. Expanding social media engagement with over 5000 followers on Twitter, over 1 million views of our website and a trebling of YouTube viewing time.
  5. Increasing use of our Education webpage with 80K views in 2018 compared to 44K in 2017.
  6. Increasing popularity of BSH Events with a third selling out and all events over 75% subscribed.
  7. Continuing impact of BSH Guidelines with thirteen new publications, including important collaborations with RCOG, MAIT, UKHCDO and BTS. This year we had over 700K views on our Guidelines webpage.
  8. Increasing grant funding for research for start-up projects of early-mid-career researchers (from £60,000 to £150,000) and supporting 85 members in their travel to Conferences.
  9. Growing BSH office capacity with ongoing refurbishment to optimise space for meetings and for the growing staff team which is now at 11
  10. A progressive and diverse Board of elected Trustees (42% female; 25% BAME), as compared to an NHS workforce that is 44% female and 13% BAME.
  11. Increasing stakeholder engagement, including collaboration with the American Society of Hematology where we are looking forward to the joint Plenary session at our 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting, and the European Hematology Association (where we are progressing joint membership).
  12. Highlighting our importance to the NHS during the NHS 70th Anniversary celebrations with plans to showcase “Haematology in the NHS Beyond 70” at next year’s ASM in Glasgow.

So, we have our own BSH twelve days of Christmas 2018! On behalf of the BSH Board and the office led by Katy Amberley, I send you all our warmest seasonal greetings and a wish for every success and happiness in the New Year!

With warmest regards,

Professor Cheng-Hock Toh