It is with great regret, but likely with no surprise, that I am writing to let you know that we are postponing the BRS meetings in Sheffield. Despite record numbers of abstract submission, given the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot ethically take people away from their hospitals to attend a meeting even if travel remains permissible. We want to minimise the risk of further dissemination of the virus amongst colleagues and our patients.
At the present time, we understand that the peak in cases will come in April/May and so we will be able to reschedule in the Autumn. We will carry over all submitted abstracts and registrations made to date, but in the event we hare unable to find a suitable date, or that registered delegates can no longer attend, a full refund will be issued.
I am already aware that many of our members are being affected by this pandemic - through direct infection, self-isolation or travel restrictions. It is likely to get worse, and I'm sure that we will all face significant changes in our work patterns, increased demands on our time and the challenges of balancing the need to look after and protect our loved ones and to provide medical care to those who are sick, despite the risk this brings to yourselves. You all have our complete support as a society as you do so.
I hope to write in better circumstances, with a new date for the meeting as soon as possible. At the present time, we are looking at the 2nd October 2020, though we do need to wait and see how the pandemic plays out over the next few months.
With very best wishes to all,
Prof Claire Hopkins