“You will all be concerned about the spread of Covid19 (novel coronavirus) in your own countries and internationally. The organising committee for the BISOM meeting in Belfast have been keeping a close watch on the situation. After careful consideration and in line with guidance from the four surgical Royal Colleges of the UK and Ireland we have taken the difficult decision to cancel our Annual Scientific Meeting, due to take place on 30th April-1st May 2020. The satellite StR Forum scheduled for 29th April 2020 is also cancelled. In order to minimise the burden on the organising team and not dilute the programme for next year, the society will not be offering to hold a replacement virtual meeting. It is envisioned that this year’s programme will be carried forward for the 2021 meeting.
As a health organisation, our focus is on improving healthcare and supporting our members to deliver the best possible patient care. Many of us also have roles in education and an associated responsibility to our students. In light of increasing demands on health services and the pressure on Universities, our organising committee felt it was no longer appropriate to host a large-scale event. This decision provides clarity to everyone involved and removes any risks posed to all involved in our working (and out of work) lives that may have been created by proceeding with the event.
We understand that this decision will have implications for many of you and ask for your patience and understanding while we work through the next steps. We will be sending further communications to all those affected as soon as possible which will include details of how to obtain a refund of your conference fee.”
Ms P J Shirlaw Acting President of BISOM & Dr A Willis, Chair Local Organising Committee