January 2021 – Issue 1

Dear BSBMTCT member,

We just wanted to wish you all the very best for 2021, despite the challenging times we are in. We hope that all is well with you, colleagues and families, but fully recognise that every one of you will have been affected to varying degrees by the impact of Covid-19 over the last 10 months. Sadly, many of our patients and their families will inevitably have been affected, ranging from sustaining a tough lifestyle of isolation and shielding to experiencing severe illness, and so there is a need for us as a society to do our best for them on all levels.

This will be the first of monthly ‘bulletins’ we plan to send. We know you often don’t have time to read long ‘newsletters’, so we will endeavour to keep them short. However, we hope that you will be interested to hear of developments within and closely connected to the BSBMTCT. Please contact us if you want to know more.

Undoubtedly, Covid-19 remains our number 1 priority at present. BSBMTCT guidelines will continue to be updated in the several next months, now with the vaccination section developing by the Vaccination Sub-committee and updates being published this week on the website https://bsbmtct.org/bsbmtct-and-covid/. We hope that the BSBMTCT guidelines will feed into a further update of the NICE guideline NG164 soon, which will be an important route to implementing and resourcing changes with local and national NHS colleagues outside our speciality.

We will also continue to work with NHSE via the CRG, Anthony Nolan and the Strategic Forum on Covid-19 in other important areas for development in HSCT and cell therapy. Brexit will have some impact, but we hope that good links with EBMT will be maintained, particularly as alignment with international practice will be important as ever in many respects.

A number of other topics will be addressed in the coming year; workforce, revised BMT indications with NHSE, outcomes benchmarking, delivering accreditation remotely, modernising internal workings of the society and strengthening links with our key partners. As usual, we will be holding the Annual Scientific Meeting on May 12th 2021 and the Education Day on November 3rd 2021. The first will definitely be ‘virtual’ ….and who knows where we’ll be towards the end of the year – however, we will find a way to bring everyone together.

In the next year we will also be looking for replacements for a few of our Executive Committee who will have reached the end of their term of office. We will inform you when these opportunities become available.

Finally, but not least, we would like to specially acknowledge Kim for his leadership over the last two years, and, in particular, his hard work during the first 10 months of the pandemic. In the difficult several months to come, we hope that the BSBMTCT will maintain this high quality of support and direction for the community, protect our vulnerable patient population, and, ultimately, see the end of the pandemic and a return to better times.

Our very best wishes for 2021,

John Snowden, President
Kim Orchard, Past President
Fiona Dignan, Secretary
Debbie Richardson, Treasurer
Eduardo Olavarria, President Elect