Professor Adam Fox
I’ve been actively involved with the society over the years in various roles and am honoured to now be serving as BSACI President. My first exposure to the BSACI was as a delegate at the Annual Meeting in Loughborough in 2003. There were only around 200 attendees but it left a very big impression. The meeting was highly academic but extremely welcoming and collegiate so I was delighted in 2009 to be asked to be involved as Deputy Meeting Secretary. After graduating to Meeting Secretary, I was elected secretary for the society, before chairing the Paediatric Sub-committee. It is an enormous honour to now have the opportunity to serve as President and I would like to thank Shuaib Nasser for all his work over the past three years. Thinking back to that first meeting left me reflecting on how far the society has come during the 15 years of my involvement. This evolution has been a positive journey of growth and increased inclusivity. The membership has grown exponentially and will soon reach 1000 and includes a broad range of specialist and non-specialist clinicians including a large cohort of nurses and dietitians as well as many non-clinicians. This increased breadth of membership has been of great benefit to the society and something I hope will continue to grow.
As I begin my new role, I am keen to develop a clear vision of where the society should be at the end of my 3-year tenure and use this to inform a strategy to achieve this. This will need a lot of input from all of us. Having already spent time speaking to many members, there are 4 strategic priorities which are already emerging.
The first is the importance of our ability to influence effectively at different levels – governmentally, across the NHS and within our membership with the ultimate aim of improving patient outcomes. We need to explore the numerous ways we can extend and maximise our ability to influence the events that impact on us. We face numerous challenges around training and service provision, so a key priority will be the development of our relationships with our partner organisations such as the Royal Colleges, NASG and the Allergy charities. This will be key to our ability to bring about positive change.
Another area of increasing importance is education, especially in primary care, where we are increasingly aware that the overwhelming burden of allergic disease still resides. The opportunity to expand specialist services in a time of unprecedented financial restraint is challenging and hence improving allergy knowledge and services in primary care, and integrating the way we work, will provide the greatest impact. I therefore plan to explore the development of a national allergy education strategy, which I hope will draw together the many other excellent initiatives and stakeholders around allergy education and ensure a joined up approach to minimise duplication and maximise the limited resources we have.
Finally, there is a need to think carefully and strategically about the sustainability of our society. In many ways, whilst we have grown significantly, our leadership structure remains broadly the same as it did when I first became a member. With so many committed and talented members I am keen to re-examine how we can draw on our best resource – our members – to better support achieving our goals. Alongside this, we need to carefully consider the way that we are funded and the many challenging issues that come with the industry support we have relied on for many years and look forward to an open debate about this
Please feel free to raise any issues, concerns or ideas that you have about the society and if you would like to be more involved, please get in touch.
Click here to view a list of past BSACI Presidents