Winter Scientific Meeting 2021 – an update
Friday 8 January 2021
At the time of writing, we know that the latest pandemic surge has had a very significant impact on many of our members in different locations and teams around the UK and Ireland. It is an extremely challenging time for the speciality, and for our national health services, and the Association remains committed to supporting its members.
As you may be aware, we are due to hold our major national conference, WSM 2021, in just under a week’s time; we had already planned this as a virtual meeting instead of the usual face-to-face conference in London. The Board have considered this event carefully, given the current circumstances, and whether it is still viable. We have decided that we should continue with the virtual conference, and in this way we hope to support members by providing high-quality CPD and learning resources.
We do, understand, however, that some delegates may find it hard to attend parts or perhaps any of the live event over the two days. We will, therefore, extend access to the virtual platform from the planned 3 months to 6 months after the event; all the lectures are being recorded allowing you to catch up in your own time, as and when you are ready.
To support members, and to offer full flexibility, we will - of course – allow cancellations and issue full refunds for the meeting to delegates who find themselves unable to view the live event and do not wish access to the recordings of the sessions thereafter. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will keep the situation under regular review and will re-evaluate our plans later this week. The success of any meeting, whether virtual or face-to-face, depends on the support of both delegates and speakers. We are acutely aware of the pressures being faced by colleagues, and we wish to balance the need for CPD and the exigencies of the current emergency. We hope that providing a resource that can be accessed either at the time, or later, will suit delegates while not impacting on their work or their rest time.
Update on educational activities, regarding COVID-19
Friday 24 April
Educational activities lie at the core of The Association of Anaesthetists' activities. COVID-19 has resulted in the cancellation or postponement of our scheduled educational events (seminars, webinars and core topics) as well as the July Trainee Conference in Newcastle and the September Annual Congress in Harrogate.
Over the last six weeks we have run several free webinars to address the need for frontline clinicians to have up to date COVID-19 knowledge in a rapidly changing environment. The Education Committee is very grateful to our Events Team, our speakers and the delegates for making these a great success, all having been arranged at very short notice. There have been over 40,000 total viewings from over 80 countries.
However, it is time for us to re-evaluate our educational offerings in the near future, as the COVID-19 landscape changes: some of us are still enduring intense clinical activity, whilst in other areas the situation is thankfully showing signs of easing. Over the next few months we plan to begin the transition back to conventional educational events. Whilst there is no date to resume face-to-face events, we plan to reintroduce alongside the occasional free COVID-19 webinar, a number of prior scheduled educational events, but these too will also be in webinar form. We accept there is still a need for COVID-19 related material, but also to blend this with our regular educational programmes too.
Prof William Fawcett
Chair of the Education Committee