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Celebrating the power of science and medicine

Annual Report 2023

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AT A glance

About LABMED

awards

view report

Environment

president

committee reports

finance

EDI

partners

uk & ireland

We are the leading professional association supporting the practice and development of science in healthcare and laboratory medicine

Contents

LabMed around the UK and Ireland Federation of Clinical Scientists Environment and sustainability EDI Champions GroupFinance report Stakeholders and partners

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Education, Training and WorkforceScientific and Clinical PracticePublications and Communications Conferences and Events Microbiology Professional Immunology Professional

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President’s forewordCEO’s reportAbout LabMed2023 at a glanceMembership awards

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Committee reports

The Association for Laboratory Medicine (formerly The Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine)

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AT A glance

About LABMED

awards

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Foreword

“Our 70th anniversary was an important reminder of the enormous contribution that the Association and our members have made to clinical science over that period.”

I was delighted to take up my presidency in 2023 at a very special UKMedLab23 in Leeds, celebrating the Association’s 70th anniversary. In the same year that the NHS marked its own 75th, it was an important reminder of the role that laboratory medicine has played in improving patients’ diagnosis and their on-going treatment, and the enormous contribution the Association and our members have made to clinical science over that period. I’m committed to raising our voice as a profession. In September, the presidents of the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath), the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and I sent a joint letter to MP Steve Barclay on on the marketing of laboratory tests directly to the public and the implications on patient safety. While using self-testing kits for monitoring long-term conditions has an evidence base, we stressed that the unregulated diagnostic test market frequently lacks quality assurance. It also provides test data without professional support, leading to an increased burden on primary care to repeat any abnormal findings and provide appropriate interpretation. We recently received his reply, assuring us that the government is committed to ensuring that regulation keeps pace with the market.

President Kath Hayden

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I’ve attended many of our committee meetings to get to know the work of our directors and will use that to build my relations with key stakeholders over my term as president. I met with Jane Mills, Director of Transformation at NHS England to ensure that we are engaged with them on key areas. An early success in 2023 was the joint event on how to achieve sustainability in labs held with IBMS and RCPath in December. We also saw the first meeting of the renewed Pathology Alliance. This will allow us to collaborate with all the professional bodies working in laboratory medicine, alongside trade organisations such as the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) and the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), on areas of common interest including sustainability, digital/artificial intelligence (AI) and in vitro diagnostic regulation. We thanked Jane Pritchard for her leadership over a period of change for the organisation and welcomed our new CEO Victoria Logan in September. I’d like to thank our industry partners and collaborators who have supported us during the year. This includes our strategic partner, Abbott; and UKMedLab23 sponsors Abbott, BD, Beckman Coulter, The Binding Site, BIOHIT Healthcare, Chromsystems, QuidelOrtho, Randox, Sebia, Siemens and X-Lab.

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AT A glance

2023report

About LABMED

“Our members’ collective efforts and achievements reflect our ongoing commitment to excellence in laboratory medicine.”

awards

MedLabUK’s in-person return in Leeds was a highlight of 2023, with a dynamic programme from across the regions to celebrate our 70th anniversary. Notably the June AGM, following extensive consultation with members, passed a resolution for our name change to The Association for Laboratory Medicine.We introduced a new Leadership Summit at the IBMS Congress to address critical leadership and management issues, attracting 100 delegates. The national audit day was one of the biggest with 90 attendees. Nearly 230 delegates completed the new Whole Genome Sequencing course. A simplified membership structure was launched, giving new members a £90 discount for the first five years of membership. This was introduced alongside a new membership offer that included access to the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine Academy, a new mentoring platform and the pilot of our own Laboratory Medicine Learning Academy. We appointed Divine Azange and Alan Courtney as our new EDI Champions, working alongside Council Member with responsibility for EDI, Dilini Peiris. The Green Champions Group’s work gained profile, featuring prominently at such events as the Laboratory Medicine Leadership Summit and NHS England’s How Green is your Lab? in December.

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Chief Executive Officer Victoria Logan

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Thank you to Abbott for year two of our strategic partnership which included practical webinars, furthering our mission to provide hands-on support to members. Our September strategy day identified key areas of development for 2024, including AI, patient self-testing and workforce. Other achievements include signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Microbiology Society, a review of our regional events policy to offer more support to regional meeting secretaries and allowing free access to meetings for all members.Our team expanded with the addition of a full-time Event Manager and a Digital Learning Officer, enhancing our capacity to deliver impactful projects.We bid farewell to Jane Pritchard who I thank for leadership of the Association up to June 2023 and congratulate Bernie Croal on his transition to the presidency of the Royal College of Pathologists. We welcomed Kath Hayden, who commenced her term as president at the 2023 AGM.Our collective efforts and achievements reflect our ongoing commitment to excellence in laboratory medicine.

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We foster the highest standards in laboratory testing and patient care We provide trade union support for all our members We promote laboratory medicine to the wider community We help scientists and practitioners through scientific and training meetings, bursaries and awards

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ABOUTLABMED

We celebrate the power of science and medicine, the importance of partnership and the value of knowledge in the pursuit of human health and wellbeing

We are scientists, clinicians, innovators, collaborators and researchersWe are a diverse and inclusive community

The Association for Laboratory Medicine (LabMed) works internationally to promote the highest standards in laboratory testing and patient care.Who are weWe are an influential, diverse and inclusive community of scientists, clinicians, innovators, collaborators, and researchers. Through the Federation of Clinical Scientists we provide trade union support for clinical scientists and doctors. Membership is open to all health professionals with an interest in laboratory medicine. We work with the clinical diagnostics industry through our Corporate Member and Strategic Partnership programmes to support our mission.Updates this yearFormed in 1953, this year we celebrated LabMed’s 70th anniversary. Milestones for the Association include an agreement at the 2023 AGM to rebrand and change the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine name to the Association for Laboratory Medicine. This more inclusive name better represents our members in all areas of laboratory medicine and we are delighted to welcome increasing numbers of microbiologists and immunologists into our membership.

What we doWe have a dedicated staff team who work with our many member volunteers who are full-time practicing clinical scientists across the UK to promote laboratory medicine. We offer our members a wide range of benefits, including:

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  • Accessible learning and CPD: free subscription to the Annals of Clinical Biochemistry, our digital Learning Academy and free access to the EFLM Academy.
  • National events and networking opportunities: UKMedLab, residential training courses, awards and prizes.
  • Local support: a regional bursary, tutor, trade union representative, and regional Scientific Meetings.
  • Funding: Education bursaries, Research and Innovation Grant and our Benevolent Fund.
  • Trade union support: representation at National level, negotiations, comprehensive training for representatives.
  • Career support: mentorship, registration as a European Specialist in Laboratory Medicine (EuSpLM) and Chartered Scientist (CSci).
  • Opportunities for member involvement: committees, editorial boards, sustainability and EDI.

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Science Knowledge Hub

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Audits

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Our Impact in 2023

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Celebrating modernisation and promoting diversity, inclusiveness and sustainability.

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Increased popularity and accessibility

  • 766 bookings were made for our online events, which have removed a barrier to member engagement, learning and networking opportunities.
  • Residential training courses returned for the first time since the pandemic.
  • Free and accessible regional meetings; all members can now attend any of the online regional meetings from anywhere, free of charge.
  • The Federation of Clinical Scientists’ webinars trained 128 attendees to utilise workplace policies and support fellow members with matters such as organising, bullying and harassment, sickness, flexible working and retirement.
  • Our new genomic sequencing course was highly successful with members and non-members alike, who found their practical knowledge updated and felt equipped to implement service improvements and new diagnostic strategies at work.

Introducing a £90 discount for members in the first five years of membership and introducing new member benefits

Collaborating as a key opinion leader in the field.

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About LABMED

CAREER SUPPORT

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NATIONAL POLICYINVOLVEMENT

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LabMed wrote to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in conjunction with other bodies to request governmental provision of regulation for the unsafe marketing of diagnostic tests to the public.

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Following LabMed’s response to the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, we were informed that a new Healthcare Science Workforce and Leadership board will be formed, on which the LabMed will be represented. This board will enable professional bodies to provide input for the plan, which will be reviewed every two years.

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We now provide free access for members to the EFLM Learning Academy and the various benefits this offers. We pay the EFLM Learning Academy directly, ensuring that all our members can access the service at no cost to themselves.

We have launched our new mentoring platform, to which 94 members have already signed up.

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Right: Cytotoxic T Cell visualisation

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MEMBERSHIP AWARDS 2023

EMERITUS MEMBER OF THEASSOCIATION

HONORARY MEMBER OFTHE ASSOCIATION

PRESIDENT'S SHIELD

Rachel Wilmot nominated by the Trent, Northern & Yorkshire Region Gwyn McCreanor nominated by the Trent, Northern & Yorkshire Region

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David Holt nominated by the Southern Region There were no nominations for Fellow or Friend of the Association in 2023

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The President’s Shield is awarded for outstanding contribution to the Association. In 2023 it was awarded to our outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Jane Pritchard, for her work in developing the Association during her time as our first CEO.

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Plenary/Medal Awards

impact award

INTERNATIONAL AWARD LECTURE

clinical cases poster prize

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Mandy Perry and Tim McDonald, Development of a national home finger-prick blood laboratory testing service for clinicians of Paediatric Highly Specialist Services for complex conditions

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“These sessions recognise the fantastic work of our colleagues at all stages of their careers and showcase the value that their work has on the profession and wider healthcare, whether a small project or large initiative.”

“Sometimes the smallest change has the greatest impact!”

FOUNDATION AWARD

Paul Collinson, Metamorphosis: from retrospective confirmation to management tool, the evolution of cardiovascular biomarkers

Maria Fitzgibbon, Lessons in Chemistry

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ACB Medal Award

Nick Flynn, A computer vision approach to the assessment of dried blood spot size and quality in newborn screening

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Roger Bramley, Improving diagnosis of a rare form of SCID through collaboration between immunology and biochemistry

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Interactive clinical cases prize

Angela Boal, It’s a H-A-R-D-U-P life

National Audit Meeting Poster Prize

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Katie Hadfield, An audit to investigate the impact of clinical commenting on CA-125 results <35 U/mL in patients with symptoms suggestive of ovarian malignancy

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COMMITTEEREPORTS

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  • Education, Training and Workforce
  • Scientific Publications and Communications
  • Conferences and Events
  • Microbiology Professional
  • Immunology Professional

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Education, Training and Workforce committee

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The committee highlight was holding our first two-night residential course post-pandemic for trainees in Durham, offering a social aspect alongside training that was well-received. Trainees really need these opportunities to network and make connections they’ll use throughout their careers.We piloted the Laboratory Medicine Learning Academy, a digital learning platform developed by the Association in partnership with Health Education England, East of England. It offers a wide range of educational material, though we also aim to include best practices, and are seeking authors to develop further content. We got useful feedback from users about our first programme on laboratory method evaluation and are planning for another nine by the end of 2024 including programmes on diabetes, cardiology, laboratory safety and laboratory quality.

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“Trainees really need these opportunities to network and make connections they’ll use throughout their careers.”

Education & Training

Previous page: DNA sequencing code visualisation

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Supports education and training pathways for the membership while monitoring and contributing to workforce planning for the profession

About LABMED

BY HAZEL BORTHWICK

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We also held a training day at UKMedLab, with the Immunology and Microbiology Professional Committees running events in parallel to support their members. Additional support is now being provided by the Association’s mentoring scheme, benefitting both mentors and mentees. The Education Committee held two virtual meetings in 2023. A new structure for the committee has been approved by Council and will be launched in 2024.The committee attended last year’s national pathology workforce meetings, and was also invited to view and give feedback on the NHS long-term plan.

“Additional support is now being provided by the Association’s mentoring scheme, benefitting both mentors and mentees.”

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We represented our members’ views in both collaborations, while publishing articles on the workforce and keeping the membership informed of all discussions.The National School for Healthcare Scientists has undergone change recently. The committee continues to liaise with the NSHCS, and has provided feedback on training centre accreditation and the new meeting format. We will work on maintaining a good relationship with the School and are involved in supporting its proposed new assessment process.This is my final year as Director for ETW and as such I would like to extend my thanks to all committee members and the London Association team who have supported the aims over my term with particular thanks to Katie Hadfield, the ETW deputy, Allison Chipchase and Donna Fullerton.

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Increase the number of members making use of their free access to the Learning Academy

Increase the number of authors and amount of content created for the Learning Academy

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Build a stronger voice on workforce requirements to ensure that laboratories can support improvements and developments in the patient pathway

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SCIENTIFIC AND CLINICAL PRACTICE COMMITTEE

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The highlight of the past year was awarding the Research and Innovation Grants. In the ten years I’ve been on this committee, we have never had as many as 25 of such high quality. We awarded to:

  • Rebecca Stead: ‘MNK1 a Novel Prognostic Marker for Gestational Diabetes’.
  • Richard Barton: ‘Comparison of Pneumocystis Jirovecii PCR on Blood and Bronchoscopy Samples from Hospital In-patients with Suspected Pneumocystis Pneumonia’.
  • Magdalena Karlikowska: ‘Exploring Optical Electrophysiology Feasibility for Rapid Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing to Enhance Urinary Tract Infection Management’.

Science Knowledge Hub

Right: Antibodies and viral infection visualisation

Responds on behalf of LabMed on all scientific matters relevant to the practice of laboratory medicine

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The committee was pleased to award grants to an application from a laboratory and industry joint venture. It was interesting to see new topics addressed. The development of a membership special interest database has been taken on board by the executive team as part of the membership engagement task and finish group. It aims to provide a list the Association can refer to when approached for an opinion or input in different areas, so please consider whether you can be included in it.The committee was invited to provide input on the review of the Royal College of Pathologists’ document on ‘the Communication of Critical and Unexpected Pathology Results’. We look forward to working with the College on this and other projects in which we have a shared interest in the future.

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“In the ten years I’ve been on this committee, we have never had as many as 25 of such high quality applications."

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I would like to thank Victoria Miari, who has stepped down from the committee after being with us for six years, of which three were spent as Deputy Director. David Gaze is our new Deputy Director. All Association committees must now have an EDI and sustainability lead, and these are myself and Penny Cliff respectively.

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Publish updated user-friendly verification and validation worksheets

Establish a paediatric reference range working group

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Deliver a ‘hot topic’ in-person meeting

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Sign up to joinLabMedUK24

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publications and communications committee

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We spent 2023 improving communication with members and supporting preparations for the Association’s rebrand. We worked on improving the website’s content, layout and accessibility.

“We worked on improving the website’s content, layout and accessibility.”

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@AnnClinBiochem

Oversees all communication from LabMed to its membership and the public

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LABMED NEWS

@LabTestsUK

@LabMedNews

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LabMed News has continued to provide relevant news and communications to our membership, with the addition of a regular Green Champions feature and more EDI content to further support our aim of representing all our members’ voices. This year saw good engagement, with 3123 visits to the issues published throughout 2023.

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LTO-UK’s role is to help patients and the public understand clinical laboratory tests used in the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of disease. In 2023, the website had six million visits, an increase of 50% compared to 2022. This includes the 30% boost to hits from November 2023 onwards following integration with the NHS App for several laboratory tests. Most hits are now either direct or referral from other platforms, particularly GP systems and NHS Applications, with search engine referrals now making up just 26% of all hits. The LTO-UK board and wider team runs and promotes the website, aiming for the LTO-UK website to be fully interoperable with NHS platforms, and the primary resource for patient information about clinical laboratory tests. LTO-UK has no commercial allegiances and support is generously provided by LabMed, the Institute of Biomedical Science and the Royal College of Pathologists.

“In 2023, the website had six million visits, an increase of 50% compared to 2022.”

@AnnClinBiochem

Overall, 2023 was a strong year for the journal, with a healthy number of citations and nearly 900,000 full-text downloads throughout the year, averaging at around 75,000 downloads per month. It saw expansion of the editorial board and team of associate editors, enhancing expertise in specialist areas of laboratory medicine and the global reach of editor support, including Asia-Pacific. The editorial team and board would also like to acknowledge the role of the Clinical Sciences Review Committee in providing high-quality reviews and thank all those who have reviewed manuscripts in 2023.We are very sorry to announce the death of our colleague Melanie Percy, who was Associate Editor for Haematology for some years, and made a valuable contribution to the journal.

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Get the most out of our new contract with SAGE for the Annals

More support for our editorial boards to optimise our content across different channels and outputs

Keep members informed and updated about the Association’s plans, actions and successes

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ANNALS OF CLINICAL BIOCHEMISTERY

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conferences and events committee

The standout moment of the year was the annual conference, with 341 delegates celebrating our 70th anniversary, held at the Leeds Armouries in June. To celebrate, we asked for content from each of the nine regions for parallel sessions. The take up was all we could have asked for, with contributions from new speakers, better reflecting the current membership, whilst also attracting more established figures to support them.Following on from last year, microbiology and biochemistry training days were held in parallel, which attracted 34 microbiology delegates and 119 biochemistry delegates, up for both cohorts from the previous year. It was wonderful to see so many colleagues in training coming together and building networks.The conference featured an address from both Bernie Croal and Kath Hayden, as outgoing and

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“The standout moment of the year was the annual conference, with 341 delegates celebrating our 70th anniversary.”

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Ensures meetings and events follow LabMed values and meet the needs of the membership

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UKMedLab23

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incoming presidents, giving an insight on the Association’s past and our future aspirations. The inclusion policy to ensure equitable learning and experience was put into play at the conference, but there is still work to do. The Foundation and Impact Awards, for example, were simplified by using an online form and we received more applications via that process.We reviewed regional trainee award presentation guidelines last year, to ensure equitable access to awards and prizes across the regions. Now there is more harmonisation which has also followed through into a regional events policy. It means that no matter

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“No matter where you are in the UK, if you’re a member of the Association you have equal access to learning, science and bursaries.”

where you are in the UK, if you’re a member of the Association you have equal access to learning, science and bursaries. We’ve ensured that the latter don’t just cover accommodation, travel or conference fees, but also enabling costs such as childcare. We also organised a day’s leadership summit at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS) conference in September which was very successful. It attracted not just our members but also those from the IBMS, with the focus on AI, direct-to-consumer testing and results direct to patients.The input from the Green Champions and EDI Champions has been positive, making us question actions we took for granted before. There are the obvious initiatives like going paperless, recyclable badges at conferences, asking for green credentials at event venues and no longer giving out bags or leaflets. But it’s more than that: it’s also looking at the process for granting applications/prize nominations.

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Encourage more membership input on topics covered at the Association’s annual conference and boost attendance

Submit a bid for EuroMedLab 2027

Increase immunology content at the LabMed Conference

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microbiology professional committee

The standout moment of 2023 was overseeing the STP curriculum review and getting it out to The National School of Health Care Science (NSHCS). It was rubber-stamped in the autumn and rolls out in September 2024.We are working collaboratively with the Microbiology Society and have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to benefit both our memberships, so our members will pay reduced rates to attend meetings of the Microbiology Society and vice versa. We are currently reviewing papers for a collection on diagnostics and infectious diseases for their flagship Journal of Medical Microbiology. Also, one of our members, Magdalena Karlikowska, wrote an article on antimicrobial resistance for its periodical, Microbiology Today.Online clinical cases sessions, hosted by Callum Goolden, have been of a high standard and have

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“The standout moment of 2023 was overseeing the STP curriculum review and getting it out to The National School of Health Care Science.”

Represents the interests of Microbiologists within the Association

by Rob Shorten

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Right: Microbiology visualisation

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received excellent feedback. Held most months, they attract between 30 and 50 people from across the UK and some from overseas. With external funding for the education hub on the website we intend to host more microbiology content online to benefit members of all grades. We’ve hosted four sessions with approximately 250 individuals in total on the HEE-funded Whole Genome Sequencing in Infection Course and feedback was excellent. In 2024 we will publish the most relevant content on the Learning Academy and we thank the Great Ormond Street Learning Academy for facilitating it for us.

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“We intend to host more microbiology content online to benefit members of all grades.”

We hosted two sessions at the Federation of Infection Societies meeting in Edinburgh in November, one on ‘pathology networks: the journey so far’, and the other on the ‘diagnosis and management of difficult infections in haematology and oncology patients’. At MedLab23 we had a joint training meeting with the biochemists, sessions on the properties of antimicrobial drugs, infection control for clinical scientists and interactive case discussions. They were well attended, and feedback was good. We continued to offer education and training resources for microbiology members online, with a webinar on equivalence training in March for those who want to become clinical scientists by the equivalents route, and another showing the various career options available once they qualify. I would like to thank the following who are standing down from the committee: Victoria Miari (represented the MPC on the Scientific Affairs and Clinical Practice Committee), Barry Neish, Mark Garvey, Derren Ready and Claire Jenkins.

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Continue to exert influence in the educational training of clinical scientists via the NSHCS, higher education institutions and others

Fill the EDI area of responsibility role on the committee

Improve the education offerings for microbiologists on the Association’s website

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MedLab23

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Immunology professional committee

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A highlight of the year was having a face-to-face STP training and networking meeting in Manchester for the first time, which I attended as education lead. I worked with Nick Barnes, the course director in Manchester, and we got commercial sponsorship for the meeting. It was well attended and got excellent feedback from the trainees. We hope to keep this type of meeting going. We instigate online follow-ups to check how the trainees are getting on. If they’re struggling, then the people who mentored them assess whether proposals are being actioned, and what we plan to do. The FRCPath training days are now held three times a year with a break for summer, with one held in Newcastle last year. With post-registration training, the Independent Assessment of Clinical Competence (IACC) and more junior members are writing case-based discussions scenarios. Discussions with the National School of Healthcare Science have gone well,

“A highlight of the year was having a face-to-face STP training in Manchester for the first time.”

Represents the interests of Immunologists within the Association and national professional bodies

BY Alison Whitelegg

Right: Immunoglobulin glycoproteins produced by plasma cells visualisation

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in terms of question setting, and we have a team of more junior writers who are recently qualified and have taken on all of that themselves. A format suitable for clinical scientists was included in the new curriculum of joint allergy and immunology for the Royal College of Pathologists. There is a new exam format with clinical scientist input. A mock exam was launched last year, which is now available for viewing on the website. It will be closely monitored as it’s all very new and requires more clinical knowledge than previously. We will also ensure that we have clinical scientist representation at the college.

“There is a new exam format with clinical scientist input.”

We’d like to thank Liz Bateman, our Chair for nearly five years. Liz got the IPC up-and-running. She did a great job communicating Association matters to us as the Immunology Professional Committee and establishing our terms of reference. I would also like to thank Sanja Ugrinovic, who has done an immense amount of work as the lead station writer for the National School, quite a heavy post involving lots of question-writing and organising people to do the same.

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Publish best practice guidelines on the website for members to use

Work closely with the British Society for Immunology Clinical Immunology Professional Network

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Grow our work in the areas of EDI and sustainability

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around the UK and ireland

Our Regional Committees serve local members through scientific and training meetings, bursaries and awards which provide a unique opportunity to network and develop their skills

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Chair: Carrie Chadwick

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North West

About LABMED

  • We highlighted specialist work performed in the region at UKMedLab23 in Leeds, and learnt about all the advances in laboratory medicine and innovative work performed in other regions as well.
  • The Ian Ward member papers meeting, attended by 35 members, was held in March with six method development/cases presentations from trainees and a consultant chemical pathologist from within the region. Jessica Brown won first prize there and Emma Henly was runner-up.
  • We have filled the post of treasurer, microbiology representative and ordinary member.
  • Committee meetings are well attended, with the hybrid format proving particularly popular. Our first in-person-only meeting will be held in May 2024.
  • We will miss Emma Lewis, our Cheshire and Mersey FCS representative, who sadly passed away in November. I would like to thank Anna Milan, Natalie Hunt and John Bassett for all their hard work.

Chair: Kathryn Ryan

Northern ireland

  • The region has focused for the past 18 months on the Northern Ireland Pathology Information Management Systems (NIPIMS) project and a new electronic healthcare system called Encompass. The Laboratory Information Management System part of NIPIMS (with user acceptance testing completed) and Encompass were part-launched in November.
  • We contributed a session on neuroendocrine tumours to UKMedLab23, including papers on ‘a lifetime experience in peptides and neuroendocrine tumours’; ‘carcinoid syndrome’ and ‘MEN1’.
  • Michelle Hookham is taking over as regional tutor from Graham Connolly.
  • The preferred option for the ‘Blueprint Programme’, designed in workshops with LabMed, the IBMS and the British Medical Association, was a single pathology special agency that would take pathology out of the trusts and then deliver pathology services to them.
  • Thanks to Jennifer Cundick and Kirsty Spence for all their hard work.

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Chair: Alison Bransfield

Republic of Ireland

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  • Two trainees passed their FRCPath exams, which is tough given that all exam-takers work full time. We’re trying to encourage all our trainees to become members of the Association of Clinical Biochemists in Ireland (ACBI) and LabMed.
  • Training is still provided by Janice Reeve with assistance from Rachel Cullen, who both cross the LabMed/ACBI line. We also support trainees by exploring how to work informally with colleagues in other labs across the Association.
  • We held a virtual half-day Scientific Meeting in February 2023, the format attracting many attendees from other regions. We would like to organize joint in-person meetings with Northern Ireland in the future. The regional audit is complete, had a good response and its results are about to be collated.
  • Thanks to Carl Talbot, who has now stepped down.

2024–25 goals

  • Hold a successful joint scientific and audit meeting in spring 2024
  • Fill vacant roles on the Committee
  • Encourage a focus on laboratory sustainability in the region

2024–25 goals

  • Hold two Scientific Meetings, one online to improve accessibility
  • Represent members and keep them informed about key issues including the ‘Blueprint Programme’
  • Expand membership to more specialisms

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2024–25 goals

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  • Have an in-person meeting, on our own or with another region
  • Get the rest of our trainees through their exams
  • Hold a joint meeting with the ACBI

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Chair: Rebecca Pattenden

Scotland

FCS

  • A highlight was the in-person Scientific Meeting held in March in Edinburgh (we held another in Stirling). Trainees were invited to present their Masters project for the final John King Award, and John’s family attended. Afternoon speakers focused on antenatal and newborn screening.
  • Lucy Miller won the award, with a presentation on the evaluation of a commercial immunoassay for the measurement of faecal bile acids.
  • The bursary application process was promoted at the AGM and via our Scotland Committee members, prompting two successful applications.
  • The region presented at UKMedLab23. Papers included the ‘C-peptide pathway for diabetes diagnosis’, ‘islet cell transplantation’ and ‘past, present and future analytical testing for specialist endocrine assays’.
  • Thanks to Sarah Cleary, who is leaving the committee after 20 years in various posts and will be missed.

Chair: Anna Barton

South West and Wessex

  • My personal standout was becoming the new regional chair in June, then supporting the new meeting secretaries by suggesting an online meeting on CKD/KFRE in November, attracting 280 registrants.
  • Three committee meetings were held last year and two Scientific Meetings: ‘horizon scanning’ in the South West and Wessex in May and ‘new developments in renal disease’ in November.
  • We welcomed the following committee members: regional tutor/workforce advisor Fiona Davidson; joint treasurer/meeting secretary Shannon Rees; ordinary member Joe Bailey; trainee representative Laura Stephens; ordinary post Annie Cook and meeting secretary/treasurer Sarah Blampied.
  • Thanks to our previous chair Roanna George, our former meeting secretary/treasurer George Allen, and our former trainees’ rep, Annie Cook.

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Chair: Robyn Shea

Southern

  • The highlight of our year was organising and presenting a regional session at UKMedLab23 incorporating immunology, biochemistry and microbiology. Called the ‘Southern Region Response to Challenges in Laboratory Medicine’, it was chaired by Alex Reed, our meeting secretary.
  • No in-person Scientific Meetings were held in 2023 but we will plan for one in-person and one virtual meeting in 2024. We held a virtual committee meeting, our Bill Richmond Prize Meeting and the AGM in the summer. Two prizes were awarded.
  • The East of England part of our region runs regular training tutorials, but we have no regionally organised tutorials elsewhere. Many of the trainees organise their own tutorials in groups.
  • We recommended that David Holt be recognised with an honorary member award for his work involved in the measurement of drugs and toxicology.

2024–25 goals

  • Promote awareness of the Scotland bursary and boost take-up
  • Expand membership of the committee and increase specialisms
  • Arrange a two-day in-person Scientific Meeting for August/Winter 2024

2024–25 goals

  • Improve communication between the committee and our regional members
  • Create a SW&W region-wide STP planning and training strategy, including aligning STP intake across the region
  • Promote and share QI projects from the region, across the region

2024–25 goals

  • Bring new members into committee roles fill membership of the committee, potentially bringing in new faces
  • Promote take-up of regional bursaries
  • Reinstate welcome meetings for STPs and supervisors.

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“A highlight was the in-person Scientific Meeting held in March in Edinburgh.”

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25

FCS

Chair: Stephen Gibbons

Trent, Northern & Yorkshire

  • Our region’s contributions to UKMedLab23 including new guidelines developed at Leeds on essential blood testing in the patient abusing anabolic steroids; the metabolic effect of nitrous oxide abuse and lead toxicity in children which scored very highly.
  • We held one in-person meeting in Gateshead with a renal theme, incorporating the Geoffrey Walker Award (won by Jenny Lake with ‘clinical audit of urine ACR requesting in primary care’) and an in-person STP/HSST training day in Doncaster.
  • Of the 285 individual members currently listed in our region 20 are pre-registration clinical scientists and 77 are registered clinical scientists not yet consultant.
  • The joint British Society for Immunology (BSI) and Association of Clinical Pathologists (ACP) Clinical Immunology training day gained positive feedback and we’ll be promoting the next in an upcoming newsletter.
  • Thanks to John Shepard and Gemma Minett for their sterling work.

Chair: Susan Prosser

Wales

Environment

  • Two successful Scientific Meetings were held last year, one dedicated to Mike Badminton’s career in porphyria and inherited metabolic disease. Speakers included Penny Stein and George Elder, as well as some of Mike’s more recent colleagues. The second meeting included members’ papers, where Helen Codd was the winner with her talk ‘Something old, something new?’.
  • Another highlight was at UKMedLab23, where Danja Schulenburg-Brand, Rachel Still, Catherine Bailey and Joanne Rogers showcased some of the region’s work and specialisms, including the all-Wales LIMS.
  • The committee has gained an immunology representative but is losing its secretary, Anthony Jackson-Crawford. Anthony will be very much missed; he’s been a fantastic organiser and very active committee member since 2018 but is moving outside of the region to further his career.

Chair: Pervaz Mohammed

West Midlands

  • We held two virtual Committee Meetings, plus one in-person Scientific Meeting combined with our AGM, which got excellent feedback.
  • Topics at the Scientific Meeting included, ‘a lifetime of organic acids’; ‘newer IMDs emerging from genomics’; ‘the updated MetBioNet website’; ‘update on newborn bloodspot screening’; ‘nitrous-oxide induced B12 deficiency: no laughing matter’; ‘glycerol intolerance’; ‘renal stones due to defects in purine metabolism’; ‘hyperoxaluria and oxalate stones’; ‘the energetics of epilepsy in IMDs and disorders of amino acid metabolism in adulthood’.
  • The West Midlands audit group held three meetings in 2023 and are putting together a regional audit.
  • Rachel Marrington won the Robert Gaddie Poster Prize.
  • We encourage other trainees in the department to participate in meetings and have had representation from every single hospital in the West Midlands region at some point.

2024–25 goals

  • Deliver a successful annual TNY audit meeting
  • Publish a bi-annual newsletter following excellent feedback for the first one
  • Organise a Scientific Meeting for 13 September 2024 in Newcastle with an endocrinology theme

2024–25 goals

  • Hold two successful Scientific Meetings
  • Recruit and retain committee members to provide effective support to members
  • Enable access to education through awarding regional bursaries

2024–25 goals

  • Successfully hand over the role of chair to a new post-holder
  • Organise one in-person Scientific Meeting for 2024
  • Encourage more people to apply for bursaries

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FCS

“The standout moments this year were getting a successful pay deal, plus improving flexible working offerings.”

Increasing the uptake of training and recruitment of new members has been a struggle, mainly because of the pressure on the NHS overall. Trusts have an obligation to provide time so we are focused on finding a solution that will work for everyone. We plan to deliver pre-recorded training videos, which trainees can watch at their leisure. These might include discussing how real-life anonymised examples were handled, and potentially also how other membership benefits can help with career development and provide insights into the inner workings of an NHS organisation. In the coming year we will explore support networks such as active learning groups, and a WhatsApp group for union reps where a question can be put to the collective brain.

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TRAINING AND RECRUITMENT

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@Federation of Clinical Scientists

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Federation of Clinical Scientists (FCS)

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Certificated Trade Union, with full national recognition and negotiating rights, representing the interests of Clinical Scientists in the NHS and other related areas It has been a tough year, one in which we lost Emma Davies (nee Lewis) , the incumbent Association Director of Regulatory Affairs/FCS Chair. She will be remembered for her passion and dedication to the Federation, the Trade Union and, even in her final days, for her support of Association and Committee members. The standout moments this year were getting a successful pay deal, plus improving flexible working offerings. We’ve managed to find appropriate outcomes to approximately 70% of cases, but this can range from just offering advice to more complicated negotiations. There were two significant cases, one of which has now been resolved satisfactorily and the other is still ongoing. Due to exceptional circumstances just one hybrid Executive National Committee was held this year as well as three hybrid training sessions.

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Pay is still one of the key topics and we’re asking for a meaningful pay rise. One of the supporting arguments is that if you pay the NHS more they’ll have more disposable income and that will feed into the economy. But equally, it’s not just about a pay rise; we have a massive staff shortfall and need to look at how we attract people into the profession amid a cost-of-living crisis.

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BY MIKE CORNESNATIONAL NEGOTIATOR

FCS

“A pay rise is necessary, economically viable and vital as part of a wider package, if we are to increase recruitment and retention”

  • The details of reform of the member contributions structure, especially the mechanism for tier boundary uplift with AfC pay awards to remove the infamous ‘cliff-edge’ problem formerly experienced especially at band 8A. These come into effect from April 2024.
  • Driving increased pensions flexibilities. While still ‘work in progress’ provisions for partial retirement in the 1995 scheme were introduced in October 2023.

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This also affects retention; conversations with people in our workforce reveal their concern about being able to do their job safely, as everyone is so short staffed. That leads to people feeling stretched and worried about making mistakes. A pay rise is necessary, economically viable and vital as part of a wider package, if we are to increase recruitment and retention. We are still working through the non-pay agreements of last year’s pay deal, the pay elements having been implemented. We’re looking at the upper pay limit as well as various non-pay work streams to benefit members. There has also been a lot of work done on flexible working, plus health and safety in the workplace.

Pensions

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FCS participates in discussions about changes to the NHS Pension Scheme (England & Wales) through our representation on the “Scheme Advisory Board” (SAB). The three broad areas of SAB activity over the last year have covered:

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Despite what seem to be many changes to the scheme we remain of the view that it is a very valuable benefit of NHS employment. Considerable work goes into collecting data about scheme opt outs, understanding the reasons why some members opt out and how the scheme may be further amended to encourage continued participation to assure a comfortable retirement. Geoff Lester, FCS representative to SAB

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  • Preparation for the second stage of the McCloud discrimination remedy – the mechanisms for giving information about and making choice on retirement and other consequent decisions and for addressing the accumulated retrospective cases. These will be effected during 2024–25.

2024-25 goals

uk & ireland

  • Recruit to vacant positions at Committee level and in terms of national reps
  • Secure a good pay deal
  • Improve training and support for FCS representative

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FCS

“There is now a Green Champion representative on every Association committee.”

We host a Green Champions area on the Association website to signpost information, guidance, case studies and best practice examples, and we post articles every month. The Association’s news magazine features a green article in almost every issue. We have shared links to helpful resources and publications, and have generated overwhelming enthusiasm with the ‘baseline survey’, which asked members what green activities are already being done in their departments. This shows that members are eager to reduce their environmental impact at work and need more support to do so. We’ve lectured trainee clinical scientists on the STP programme at both Queen Mary, University of London, and the University of Manchester, encouraging future pathology leaders to consider what projects they can initiate and how they too can become green champions in their own workplaces.

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2024-25 goals

MyGreenLab

  • Continue to work with NHS Pathology and Greener NHS to embed sustainability in laboratories
  • Work with industry bodies such as BIVDA to do the same
  • Encourage our members to speak at events/lectures and share good practice

Environment and Sustainability

We want environmental sustainability to be embedded into diagnostic laboratories There is now a Green Champion representative on every Association committee to provide oversight and encourage people to think about the environment in every action taken, though it’s still a work in progress. The highlight of 2023 was co-hosting an event at the Royal College of Pathologists with Greener NHS and the IBMS called ‘How Green is your Lab?’ It was a day of multiple short talks by people representing every corner of the NHS. Attendance and engagement was high, which we hope springboards this to the next level. We’re engaging with other partners to embed sustainability into diagnostic laboratories, and already have representation from IBMS and RCPath among members. With Greener NHS, NHS Pathology, and the BIVDA we are discussing how we can continue moving this vital topic forward.

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Centre for Sustainable Healthcare

LEAF in labs

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BY GREEN CHAMPIONS GROUP

FCS

“We supported the review of the education grant and nominations policy, facilitating changes such as self-nomination, increased eligible expenses and a simplified application process”

Environment

  • Supporting the EDI agenda is a balancing act, with scarcity of time being the biggest obstacle to making a greater impact, highlighting the need for greater resource allocation and support from you in order to meet the diverse needs of our community.
  • Engagement: approximately 20% of members identify as having a protected characteristic. We aim to mirror the diversity of our community by encouraging committees and editorial boards to adopt this target.

2024-25 goals

  • Have all committees and working groups involved in promoting our EDI work through liason roles
  • Transform insights gained from our membership survey into content that can reach more people and support our EDI pledge
  • Encourage active participation of members in raising awareness of EDI and providing support for members
  • Make EDI integral to the Association’s approach for any policy, procedure or editorial/conference/event contribution

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LabMed’s policy on EDI, adopted at its 2020 AGM, is now being bedded in throughout the organisation In our journey to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) across LabMed, we’ve made great strides in bringing these qualities to the core of our organisation.

MILESTONES

  • Policy update: we supported the review of the education grant and nominations policy, facilitating changes such as self-nomination, increased eligible expenses and a simplified application process.
  • Promoting change: our webinar with Abbott on ‘proactive inclusion as an aid to find talent’ included a talk on the Inclusive Leaders programme for reciprocal mentorship between hospital staff of different experience levels.
  • Amplified voices: articles by Alan Courtney (with an FCS context ) and myself have reached over 2,100 members, igniting a broader dialogue on diversity and underscoring our dedication to maintain a platform for diverse voices. To keep the debate alive, we need contributions from you.

CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES

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BY DIVINE AZANGE

FCS

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“We invested heavily in the member offer developing the Learning Academy and investing in the mentoring platform.”

for LabMed News to explain their focus on social impact. They will be contributing regular news articles in 2024 to report on our social and environmental impact as well as financial performance. We continue to diversify our income streams through membership growth, industry partnerships, publishing, and Scientific Meetings. New recruitment to the staff teams include specialist posts to support this aim. Our finances are in a healthy position, with the creation of a Finance and Risk Committee and improved management accounts and with quarterly forecasting and reporting. Thanks to the staff team at Tooley Street for their welcome and support. I look forward to working hard for the Association over the next few years to help to ensure our finances continue to be fit for the future.

2024–25 goals

  • Embed a three-year financial planning process
  • Increase income for development in membership services
  • Engage with industry to improve opportunities to sponsor and partner with us

Finance Director’s Report

The full details of the Association’s 2023 Accounts are available on our website In 2023 we invested heavily in the member offer developing the Learning Academy and investing in the mentoring platform, removing the fee from regional members meetings and making EuSpLM and the EFLM Academy free to members. We did this at the same time as introducing a £90 discount to new members for the first five years. We had a successful year for our conferences and events with higher than budgeted income on MedLabUK and other educational events. The 2023 operating budget finished the year with a slightly larger than forecasted deficit due to some costs during the year being higher than budgeted for. These included rates and service charges for the office, depreciation of assets, travel costs and investments costs. We had higher than expected income from our investments as the markets improved and this more than covered the end of year deficit. Our new investment house Tribe presented to the November Executive meeting and wrote an article

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BY BEN NICHOLSONFINANCE DIRECTOR

Right: Cellular development visualisation

FCS

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Stakeholders and Partners

Strategic industry partner

External memberships and partnerships

Abbott

Academy for Healthcare Science American Association for Clinical Chemistry Association of Clinical Scientists European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine Federation of Infection Societies Institute of Biomedical Science International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine Microbiology Society National School of Healthcare ScienceNHS Staff Council and Social Partnership ForumRoyal College of Pathologists Science Council

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CORPORATE MEMBERS

Launch Diagnostics Biohit Healthcare Ltd The Binding Site Group Ltd Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Mast Group Ltd Greiner Bio-One Ltd Abbott Diagnostics Tosoh Bioscience Ltd Becton Dickinson UK Ltd CliniSys Solutions Ltd LumiraDx LtdAlpha Laboratories LtdOrtho Clinical Diagnostics Roche Diagnostics LtdWaters Ltd Randox Laboratories Ltd A Menarini Diagnostics Ltd Advanced Instruments Limited Sebia UK Ltd Shimadzu UK Ltd BHR Pharmaceuticals Ltd Nova Biomedical UK Beckman Coulter UK Ltd HORIBA Medical-UK x-Labsystems Ltd Oxford Biosystems Ltd Sekisui Diagnostics (UK) Ltd Chromsystems Instruments & Chemicals GmbH

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FCS

Environment

The Association for Laboratory Medicine

Executive Members

President: (from 14 Jun 2023) Kath Hayden Past President: (until 5 Dec 2023) Bernie Croal Chief Executive Officer: (until Jun 2023) Jane Pritchard Chief Executive Officer: (from 4 Sep 2023) Victoria Logan Company Secretary: Sarah Glover Director of Finance: Ben NicholsonDirector of Publications and Communications: Kamaljit Chatha Director of Education, Training and Workforce: Hazel Borthwick Director of Scientific Affairs: Alexandra Yates Director of Clinical Practice: Mayur Patel Director of Regulatory Affairs / FCS Chair: (until 14 Nov 2023) Emma Lewis Director of Conferences and Events: Sarah Robinson Chair Microbiology Professional Committee: Rob Shorten Chair Immunology Professional

NATIONAL MEMBERS

Committee: (until 5 Dec 2023) Elizabeth BatemanChair Immunology Professional Committee: (from 5 Dec 2023) Alison WhiteleggNon-Executive Director: Vacant

National Member: Ian Godber National Member: (until 14 Jun 2023) Sophie Hepburn National Member: (from 14 Jun 2023) Alison Jones National Member: Dilini Prangige Peiris

REGIONAL MEMBERS

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North West: Carrie Chadwick Northern Ireland: (until 14 Jun 2023) Jennifer Cundick Northern Ireland: (from 14 Jun 2023) Kathryn Ryan Republic of Ireland: (until 14 Jun 2023) Jennifer Brady Republic of Ireland: (from 14 Jun 2023) Alison Bransfield

Scotland: Rebecca PattendenSouth West & Wessex: (until 14 Jun 2023) Roanna GeorgeSouth West & Wessex: (from 14 Jun 2023) Anna BartonSouthern: Robyn SheaTrent, Northern & Yorkshire: (until 14 Jun 2023) John ShepherdTrent, Northern & Yorkshire: (from 14 Jun 2023) Stephen GibbonsWales: Susan ProsserWest Midlands: Pervaz MohammedEdited by Louella MilesDesigned by Design ScienceCover: Attack on antigens 3D illustration

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