Dear BSBMTCT member,
We can’t believe it’s the end of November already, the daylight is getting shorter, and for some of us there were heavy snowfalls this week! However, we hope all remains well with you and your teams and coping with the daily challenges.
- We are so very saddened by the loss of our colleague, Professor Amit Patel, who tragically passed away in October. Amit was a bright and enthusiastic doctor and scientist, always full of ideas, and with great potential ahead of him, and had the unique distinction of being qualified in both haematology and intensive care. His achievements had been recognised by the award of his professorial title from the University of Manchester in August. Our deepest sympathies go to his family, friends, colleagues, and patients. We will be dedicating our BSBMTCT Scientific Day in May 2022 to Amit.
- The Society continues its mission to modernising its organisation and functions. Thank you to those that attended our Extraordinary General Meeting held on Wednesday 3rd November during our Education Day, and to those that couldn’t attend but sent in their proxy voting forms. We had a unanimous support from our members to update the name of our Society and Articles of Association. Thank you for all for supporting the Society and its work.
- We are planning to appoint three new members to our Executive Committee via elections to deliver specific and essential roles in our Society, covering Guidelines, Workforce and Indications, nomination forms and the election progress documents have been sent out. These posts are open to all and we welcome applications from all backgrounds. The deadline for nomination for election to these posts is 30th November.
- We express our great thanks to those stepping down now their terms have finished; Kavita Raj, Steve Robinson, Rachael Hough and Bim Laguda for all their hard work and contribution to the Exec Committee now that they are finishing off their terms.
- COVID and all of its complexities remain an issue as the pandemic moves on through into the winter pressures and the return of seasonal viruses. Ongoing challenges are many, not the least, communication with primary care in relation to post-transplant re-vaccinations and the third primary dose of vaccine. The updated BSBMTCT COVID-19 Vaccination Statement from the Vaccination committee, lead by Dr Thushan de Silva was updated on 30th November, including a last minute coverage of the Omicron variant, and is now available on our website: https://bsbmtct.org/bsbmtct-and-covid/. The updates of the ‘general’ and ‘paediatric’ BSBMTCT COVID-19 guidelines will follow shortly. For OCTAVE DUO, we have received generous support from BCUK and Anthony Nolan to extend the recruitment and screening costs for up to 80 HSCT and 80 CAR-T to give meaningful results in our patients. Sites will be contacted as the protocol amendment goes through to allowing extended screening and recruitment of patient into the first few months of 2022. We are grateful for all your support and hopefully we’ll get some good data to support the best vaccination strategy in our patients.
Our very best wishes… Stay positive, kind & strong!
John Snowden, Kim Orchard, Fiona Dignan, Deborah Richardson, Eduardo Olavarria, & Julia Lee