Globally, Clinical Biochemistry, along with other branches of Laboratory medicine is changing. We are increasingly moving from a discipline traditionally based on the extraction of data from pathological specimens, to one based on data interpretation and knowledge management. The broad church of Clinical Biochemistry covers basic science to direct patient care, but increasingly the aspirations of a number of practitioners of the discipline is to move along the spectrum towards direct patient care. This trend is independent of the professional group to which they belong and is especially prominent in the UK. The release of the Lord Carter review of NHS Pathology Services in England will also mean changes in the way services are organised and delivered in England.
The scientific programme for Focus 2007 (Focus beyond the laboratory) is an attempt to encapsulate these trends. Consequently, much of the program is directed to clinical patient management, trends in information management and topics related to service delivery.
Finally, as knowledge of pathological processes increases, it is becoming obvious that traditional discipline boundaries are becoming blurred. In recognition of this, you will find symposia on related fields such as immunology and toxicology. I expect this trend to continue in future years.
I hope you will come and enjoy the meeting.
Chairman of the Scientific Programme.