29 April 2022

My first act as the new President is to thank Dell, our outgoing President. It has been a great pleasure to work with Dell for the past two years. I know the pandemic ensured her Presidency wasn’t quite as she had imagined. However, in these difficult circumstances, Dell was the right person at the right time.

Despite all this pressure, the BSH team has kept all the plates spinning. We have grown the membership, made progress against our strategic aims, held successful academic meetings, published urgent guidelines, strengthened links with RCP and RCPath and joined the Vaccine Research Collaborative run by Blood Cancer UK. BSH is better off financially, BJHaem has a higher impact factor, and we have an increasingly successful open-access journal, eJHaem. A remarkable performance under difficult circumstances.

I’m sure I speak on behalf of the BSH Membership in applauding the efforts of the excellent staff at BSH, the journal Editors and their teams and Dell for a job well done.

For those unable to attend the Annual Scientific Meeting in Manchester, I hope those who did will agree that you missed a treat. Excellent speakers delivered topics covering the full breadth of haematology.

The rising number of nurse, physician associate and pharmacist attendees is a trend we must encourage. Overall, the registration figures look similar to the past few years. However, the hybrid format meant attendance split between in-person and online. We will need to discuss whether we drop the online component next year and stick with a face-to-face format.

Please ensure you complete your feedback forms as we rely on your input to set the priorities for future years.

I know Chris Dalley, next year’s programme committee chair, is looking forward to the Birmingham meeting and I am certain he will do an excellent job. Please put April 23-25 in your diaries now!

I welcome our new Trustees to the BSH Board: Sue Pavord as Vice President, Mark Ethell, Fiona Miall, Kate Cwynarski, John Snowden and Subarna Chakravorty (for a second term) as Ordinary Trustees, though to refer to any of them as “ordinary” seems a gross understatement. As one of our outgoing trustees said, this is a “star cast” and bodes well for the next few years.

This brings me to those Trustees standing down. Our sincere thanks to lay trustee Trevor Jones, who made a huge contribution to BSH over the last six years. We are also sad to see Fergus Jack step down. It has been invaluable to have a strong DGH Haematology voice on the Board. I would certainly wish to encourage others to follow in his footsteps as Trustee posts become available.

So what are my ambitions as President for the next two years? In truth, much of the role is to oversee the Society as it strives to fulfill the predetermined aims set out in the strategy.

Whilst we continue our core work, my personal interest is to see progress on the haematology workforce, lobbying for an increase in training posts, promoting the role of other members of the haematology team, collecting models of good practice and novel approaches to service delivery for us all to learn from.

I’m excited about the opportunities and intend to continue the excellent work of those who have preceded me, leaving the Society in a stronger position by the end of my tenure.