29 January 2019

A Happy New Year and just in time for the proper one soon! 2019 got off to a brisk start with short notice to attend the Prime Minister’s launch of the NHS Longterm Plan. It included all the headline-friendly aims but comes at a time when we are experiencing staff shortages and more people waiting longer for treatment. The plan itself champions generalists as the emphasis shifts from acute care hospitals towards integrated models involving community care. This will have challenges but also opportunities for haematologists, which BSH will help steer and future-proof our specialty.

We therefore need the very best team-working haematologists to be on the BSH Board and I urge you to vote in the upcoming elections. For the first time, BSH will be using electronic voting. It is important to have diverse representation of our sub-specialties in order to better showcase and seize opportunities to articulate our importance to healthcare as a whole. Relatively small medical societies like BSH may not have a loud voice but we can be savvy in how we partner and when we resonate that voice.

An event when we can amplify that voice is our Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM). In Glasgow this year, we look set to break attendance records. Who better to personify excellence as a haematologist than the Chief Medical Officer of England? Professor Dame Sally Davies will receive our BSH Medal and in turn, will honour our BSH-National Institute of Health Research prize winners. We will also hear from Professor Marcel Levi who trained in Haematology and is now Chief Executive Officer at University College London Hospitals. Marcel will highlight how haematology brings value to the NHS and can in turn be valued by the NHS. This should help your job-planning conversations!

Among the many good scientific and social reasons to be at the Glasgow 2019 ASM, we will soon announce a crèche facility and a Remembrance Wall to record and share fond memories of haematologists who passed away in the last 12 months. As your President, I am determined that BSH shows that we care for past, present and future members. With Valentine’s Day also approaching, we should show that Haematologists have a “big heart” and that our practice sits at the heart of Medicine and the NHS!


With my best wishes,

Professor Cheng-Hock Toh