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Regarding our plans for SfE BES 2020 

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Although the COVID-19 crisis is affecting our professional and personal lives in many different ways, the Society remains committed to bringing you excellence in research and clinical practice as well as connecting you with colleagues who share your passion.

Holding our much-loved annual meeting may be one of the first opportunities this year for our community to come together face-to-face to share their experiences and consequently planning for the SfE BES 2020 16-18 November in Harrogate continues. Nevertheless, while we remain optimistic, we are fully aware that over the coming months it may become clear that meeting in person at SfE BES may not be possible or the best option for our community.

Our final decision on whether to hold the SfE BES in person will take into account more than government guidance and venue availability. We will carefully consider the likely availability of clinical colleagues given the potential for NHS backlogs, a second wave of the virus and the possible increased transmission risk of bringing together healthcare professionals from across the country. Consequently, we are considering all possible options for SfE BES including deferral to 2021, and/or holding a streamlined virtual event. We will also extend abstract submission and registration deadlines as much as possible. Critically, though, we will listen closely to our members to ensure that whatever form our annual meeting takes, it is practical, accessible, does not compromise quality, and is in the best interests of all our community.

I look forward to meeting with you all again soon, however that may be!

With best wishes

Professor Duncan Bassett

June 2020