We had another excellent annual meeting in Birmingham this weekend. The programme included MP Sarah Wollaston talking about the NHS Reforms, talks on Acute Oncology and the roles of Oncology Nurses. The after dinner speaker was Prof Gordon McVie talking about the history of Medical Oncology in the UK. The meeting closed with a lively debate between Prof Karol Sikora and Dr Clive Peedell (read his blog here) on the merits or otherwise of independent sector provision of NHS services. We will post some of the slides here soon. Many thanks to the organising team and speakers, and to Lilly Oncology for sponsorship.
Read on for a report by Dr Richard Baird, one of the organisers, who chaired the meeting...
The 2012 Annual Meeting of the ACP New Consultants Group saw the best-ever attendance with over 60 delegates from around the UK.
The programme kicked off on Saturday with an update from Dr. Sarah Wollaston MP on the progress of the NHS White Paper through Parliament, highlighting some of the key amendments that have taken place. This was followed by a session on peer review, in which Mr. Alan Farthing (gynaecology surgeon at Imperial/Hammersmith) shared his experiences of running a successful MDT and putting together the considerable documentation required. Ms Ruth Bridgeman (Director of National Cancer Peer Review) outlined the key themes that have emerged from peer review over the last year, and provided her view on how the process can best be used to improve patient care. The final session on Saturday (chaired by Dr. David Eaton, Lancaster) included talks on: acute oncology (Dr. Richard Griffiths, Clatterbridge); the future of oncology nursing (Lynne Hopwood, Royal Marsden); and the future of medical oncology SpR training (Dr Graham Dark, Newcastle). After dinner, the delegates were treated to a tour-de-force from Prof. Gordon McVie (European Institute of Oncology, eCancerMedicalScience), who regaled us with tales from his remarkable four decades in medical oncology.
Fortified by enough coffee to banish the previous night's cobwebs, the group re-assembled on Sunday morning for a session on clinical research chaired by Prof. Ruth Plummer. The challenges of running trials in a large cancer centre were clearly described by Prof. Rob Coleman (Sheffield). In contrast the challenges of establishing trials in a DGH and how to overcome them were presented by Dr. Ruth Board (Preston). The grand finale of the meeting was the debate: "This house believes the independent sector should have NO role to play in the provision of NHS services". In the red corner proposing the motion was Dr. Clive Peedell (Middlesbrough, active campaigner agains the Health Bill) and in the blue corner opposing the motion was Prof. Karol Sikora (CancerPartnersUK). After passionate argument from both speakers and lively discussion, Clive Peedell won the day, with a big swing in the number of delegates supporting the motion after the arguments had been made. The organising committee were gratified by the record attendance and positive feedback from delegates. Once again, the administrative and financial support provided by Lilly Oncology was crucial in making the meeting such a success.
Next year's annual meeting will take place in Birmingham, on 16-17 March 2013.