The Scientific Programme Committee has aimed to pull together a programme whose appeal will hopefully exceed that of even Harrogate itself.
The word ‘Change’ used in the theme for this year’s meeting - ‘Focus on Change’ - was chosen for several reasons. Change in how our services are organised continues apace, both within the laboratory and in testing outside it, with different approaches being taken between and within UK countries. There is change amongst the new technologies that are likely to be used by laboratories of all sizes in the coming years. Mention must be also made of the fact that the change found in the pockets of our laboratory budgets is expected to be squeezed in an unprecedented way in the near future. The sessions for this year have been planned to cover these topics and many more.
Seasoned Focus observers will have noticed some marked changes in the programme layout. Breakfast workshops make a return, but have now been transformed into ‘All Day Breakfast’ sessions which will run through Tuesday and Wednesday and continue to be limited in the number of places available. They will cover a myriad of contemporary laboratory and patient management topics. Many Award Lectures have undergone a name change and are now all placed straddling lunchtime. The Clinical Practice session is set to include a controversial debate and a new ‘Hot Topics’ plenary session should prove to be a suitably stimulating end to the conference programme. Amongst all this change, stalwart favourites of Focus, such as the Attended Poster, Clinical Cases and the Audit sessions, remain and a wide variety of industry sponsored workshop topics promise to complement the rest of the programme.
During times of change such as these there is understandable uncertainty about the future ahead. However, experience from other countries that have already gone through this process shows that there will always be a role for our discipline in the ongoing healthcare of patients. The Focus meeting is a jewel in the continuing development of our speciality which needs support from the whole profession to make our discipline stronger for the future. We hope you will find the conference sessions for Focus 2011 adding sparkle to this particular gem.
Chair, Scientific Programme Committee
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