2019 has been a year when BSH has grown from strength to strength. Just in case your immediate reaction is “You would say that, wouldn’t you?”, I have chronicled evidence of BSH achievements and highlight; styled in celebrating the 12 days of Christmas!
- Convening the haematology family: The Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) has rediscovered its mojo! Attendance has grown year-on-year and 2019 saw our numbers grow to 1,436 in 2019.
- Growing the blood family: Membership numbers have broken the 2000 figure for the first time. We now have a more inclusive BSH with diverse membership from medical students, physician associates, junior doctors, specialist registrars, Consultants, scientists, nurses and allied health professionals.
- Valuing our family: The membership offer is also growing year-on-year! Popular new benefits are the BSH-European Hematology Association (EHA) Joint Membership and European School of Haematology discounts. We have expanded the bursaries for the ASM, including for nurses.
- Supporting the family: We have concluded our work force review of UK haematology, which will be published in 2020 and discussed at the 2020 ASM. This reflects our concerns over sustainability and the wellbeing of the NHS haematology workforce.
- Advancing knowledge: We have expanded our research and travel support programme, supporting over 100 members in their scientific and educational endeavours. Three new grants were piloted, including our new Cohort Study Grant, which will provide up to £300,000 over three years to two data registries focusing on well-defined rare patient populations.
- Promoting knowledge: This has been a landmark year for our journals. We welcomed our new BJHaem Editor-in-Chief, Professor John Barrett in January and we launched our new Open Access journal, eJHaem at the end of 2019, led by Editor-in-Chief, Professor Andrew M. Evens.
- Growing knowledge: We held more education events and workshops covering a wide range of topics than ever before, which were often over-subscribed and received extremely positive feedback. We have also been the first specialist society to engage with Genomics England Ltd to ensure seamless translation of genomics haematology into clinical practice.
- Disseminating knowledge: Our well regarded guidelines programme continues apace: in 2019, 4 new guidelines were published and we trialled an accompanying podcast. We will do more and are also collaborating with EHA and the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) to write two new guidelines in 2020.
- Increasing partnerships: 2019 has seen concrete foundations established with the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and EHA. Both will join us in celebrating our Diamond Jubilee ASM in 2020 with an outstanding programme that includes the involvement of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT), the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and the European Association of Haemophilia and Allied Disorders (EAHAD).
- Increasing global interest: Our website has had over a million page views this year (1,341,297 to be exact) and 270,109 users from 212 countries. Our ASM in 2019 also had representation from 33 countries.
- Increasing global reach: Our international work gathers pace and we have had plenary speakers travelling to Thailand and Sri Lanka. A new collaboration with Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) is also amongst the highlights. We are also collaborating with ASH on their African Sickle Cell Disease Newborn Screening and Early Intervention Consortium and will be undertaking a scoping visit to Zambia in 2020
- Increasing effectiveness: The BSH office has implemented more efficient data management processes, especially around our membership records and website. Good governance has been further as has our financial and audit processes.
I am truly proud of what the team has achieved together - the BSH Board, Committees, Specialist Interest Groups (SIGs) and the office led by Katy Amberley. It is that special time of year where we also celebrate together – you know and I know that Haematology leads all other specialties in multi-disciplinary team (MDT) working. We therefore want to celebrate our 60th anniversary ASM 2020 with all our family of haematology professionals – please spread the word and register NOW!
With my warmest seasonal greetings and my sincerest best wishes for a happy New Year!
Professor Cheng-Hock Toh