31 January 2024

I am excited to announce that BSH has appointed a new CEO. Carol Bewick, who will start in April, joins us from the Association of Medical Research Charities, where she is the Director of Membership Engagement.

She has a wealth of senior-level experience across sectors - including the arts, nuclear industry and criminal justice - specialising in leading communications and engagement at times of change.

She developed a passion for health whilst a Director of Communications at NICE and has never looked back. Her most recent role has developed her determination to put medical and health research on the agenda for decision-makers.

I am certain Carol will do a great job taking BSH to the next level, and it is timely that her commencement coincides with our next three-year strategy cycle (of which more in next month’s thrilling instalment).

In the spirit of membership involvement, here’s a one-question quiz for you:

To what does the term ‘emotional labour’ refer?

No, it’s not a secret crush on Sir Keir Starmer, but it could reflect how you feel after an overbooked clinic complicated by staffing gaps and IT failure.

It refers to the under-recognised reality that the work we do is not just transactional and task-based but involves managing the emotional needs of patients and families, plus our own responses to the stressful situations we encounter.

Ring any bells? A heavy burden of emotional labour contributes to burnout risk, has never been assessed in haematology, and its effects are not considered within any of the calculations about workload.

Our colleagues at LSBU are expecting to undertake a study on this topic soon. We’ll let you know how you might become involved closer to the time.

Whilst on the subject of workforce, please can I remind you that there are still a few days left to complete the wellbeing survey and workforce census. Your Society (and profession) needs you. Please complete the survey by 23:59 on Sunday, 4 February, and the census if you received an email invitation as a clinical lead!

I was interested to see the NHS will launch a pilot of an Emeritus Consultant scheme in late 2024 aimed at recently and partially retired consultants in an attempt to reduce waiting lists for non-admitted activity. It will allow individuals to work flexibly and remotely. It seems a novel approach to workforce gaps, but only time will tell how well this is received and if it is applicable to haematology.

Even though Christmas cake and (admittedly slightly stale) mince pies are still on the Wright family menu (well, mine anyway), my thoughts are turning to the Annual Scientific Meeting.

Chris Dalley and Satarupa Choudhuri, Programme Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, are putting together a highly varied and interesting programme.

Abstract submissions are at a record high, and we aim to get a larger attendance again this year. So, please take advantage of the early bird registration over the next few weeks. I’m certain you won’t regret the decision to attend.

Finally, the Global SIG is seeking two members to join the 7-10-day BSH training trip to Zambia in mid-August. We’re looking for one person with a background in paediatric sickle cell care and screening and another with experience in haemostasis and general haematology. We have funding identified to support this initiative for the next three years and are hoping to find interested individuals willing to consider further trips in future. If you think you fit the bill, please apply.