The Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS) & Association of British Neurologists (ABN) Joint Conference,Read Now
By Shirley Widdop
The Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS) & Association of British Neurologists (ABN) Joint Conference, Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London 19 - 21 September, 2018.
The joint conference of the BSNS & ABN was the ideal opportunity for Director, Dr Benjamin Davies, Researcher, Dr Michelle Starkey, Public Relations Professional, Delphine Houlton & Myelopathy Support on Facebook volunteer admin, Shirley Widdop, to raise the profile of the newly-formed charity, Myelopathy.org
Over three days, we hosted our inaugural trade stand at the event in order to publicise the work of Myelopathy.org & also advertise to the attendees that there is now, finally, somewhere their newly diagnosed patients can turn to for information, help & support.
Our presence was very well received by many of the delegates, notwithstanding the lure of colour co-ordinated M&Ms carrying the Myelopathy.org logo & the hashtag #myelopathymatters, alongside stripey peppermint candy canes - alluding to the fact that many of our members need to use mobility aids.
A rather superb magnum of champagne was on offer as a prize for a fiendishly-difficult Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy quiz as devised by Ben for the delegates to attempt. Many thanks to Berry Bro. & Rudd (www.bbr.com) for their most excellent & generous donation.
What was striking about our three days at the conference was the enthusiasm with which we were welcomed by the delegates. We spoke & networked with many medical & allied health professionals from both the private & public services sectors &, much to our joy & delight, received many offers of collaboration in return, which can only help improve patient outcomes for those diagnosed with myelopathy.
The main messages that we kept hearing from delegates centred around the current lack of awareness regarding myelopathy, the lack of a joined up approach to research & most worryingly, as divulged by several neurosurgeons, was the fact that by the time patients with myelopathy are referred to neurosurgical services, it is often too late to improve their function & mobility, hence the reason that patients are left with life-limiting & life-long disability. However, with the official charity launch of Myelopathy.org due in 2019, hopefully change is on the way.
On a final note, we would like to thank the SBNS (www.sbns.org.uk) & ABN (www.theabn.org) for allowing us the privilege & pleasure of attending conference. In addition our grateful thanks is also extended to The Queen Elizabeth II Centre (www.quiicentre.london) for its impeccable hosting - the facilities & catering in particular were top notch. On a personal note, I would like to thank QEII Centre from the view of someone with a disability; the venue was one of the most accessible & welcoming venues I have been to. Nothing was too much trouble, even to the point of allowing me to park on the forecourt for the duration of conference. I am sincerely grateful. Many thanks.
PS. Roll on 2019 - the Myelopathy.org conference stand will in attendance at the British Association of Spine Surgeons (BASS) Conference in Brighton from the 3-5 April. We’ll keep you posted.
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