Royal Free team helps deliver successful BNMS meeting

Submitted by Dr Arum Parthipun, Royal Free Hospital, London.

The spring meeting of the British Nuclear Medicine Society was not the event that most of us were expecting; however, given the events of last year we have become used to planning for such changes. The meeting was due to be held in Belfast but because of COVID-19 restrictions the decision was made to hold a virtual online meeting instead. A team from the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust nuclear medicine department agreed to host the meeting and delivered a highly successful, well organised and well attended meeting. It was converted into a two-day virtual event attended by over 430 delegates from a number of countries. There were 40 speakers from 13 institutions across the UK.

Gold sponsors Oncobeta, Sirtex, MIM Software, Curium and Spectrum Dynamics provided lunch-time industry symposia on both days and catered to the diversity of specialist interests in nuclear medicine. Through the online portal, delegates were able to visit the virtual exhibition hall, book meetings with industry exhibitors and find out more about the exciting product ranges available. Despite not being able to meet in person, countless new contacts were made and the meeting has been well received by the industry sponsors.

The virtual poster exhibition received more than 200 visits during the meeting and delegates were able to interact with the authors, asking questions and discussing their research. The virtual platform allowed some of the poster presenters to add a short audio presentation to increase the interactive element and pique the interest of delegates.

The meeting kicked off on day one with a nuclear medicine research networking meeting focusing on enabling multicentre nationwide research opportunities. There was a session organised by Royal Free tech- nologists and clinical scientists highlighting the variety of advanced SPECT/CT applications and how dynamic PET can be used in research and clinical practice.

In the afternoon, the Royal Free team presented a series of oncology focused PETCT update lectures, while in another stream, a multidisciplinary team discussed quality improvement in PETCT and how to run a nuclear medicine service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the second day, the Royal Free team presented a series of lectures on nuclear medicine imaging from top to toe. The highlight was a lecture by Dr Margaret Hall describing all the infrequently performed and unique studies in nuclear medicine.

The final sessions of the day included a series of talks on how the Royal Free team have improved reporting, teaching and communicating during the COVID-19 pandemic. The radiopharmacy group presented a series of lectures on how to take a new tracer into clinical practice.

One of the highlights was the long awaited 2020 Young Investigators Prize award. Held over from last year’s meeting, the researchers were all present for this virtual meeting. Congratulations to Lauren Urquhart and team at Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow, for their prizewinning work ‘Impact on SPECT reconstruction of iterative metal artefact reduction.’

As is traditional, it was time to say goodbye and thank you to the outgoing BNMS president; Dr John Buscombe handed over the presidential robes to Professor Richard Graham.

If you did not get a chance to join us at the meeting, or even if you wanted to relive some of the highlights, there is still time to view the on demand sessions until June 25.

From everyone at the BNMS, we hope you enjoyed the virtual conference, and look forward to seeing you at the virtual autumn meeting on September 27-29, and next year’s spring meeting in Glasgow on May 16-18.

See this report on page 27 of the June 2021 issue of RAD Magazine.

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