After some two years of inactivity, the Oxford branch of the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) has been re-launched with sponsorship from Bayer Diagnostics. The inaugural meeting was held at John Radcliffe Hospital on Monday 10th March 2003, when a committee was elected and discussions were held about a future meetings programme.
The meeting, attended by around 20 people, had been financed by Bayer whose representatives gave a presentation on the company's current range of automated laboratory analysers.
"Our aim is to make our future meetings as interesting and topical as possible", says Histopathology Manager, Ian Sturdgess, who serves on the IBMS Council for the East Midlands Region and has been instrumental in the re-launch of the Oxford branch. "A great deal is currently happening in the IBMS and Biomedical Science as a profession in general, not only because of the modernisation process but also the recent formation of the Health Professions Council (HPC). I feel it is very important to involve local members and keep them fully informed."
At the first meeting, a medal was presented to Phlebotomist Eddie Lennon who has been an IBMS member for an exceptionally long period of 50 years. Having worked in Oxford for the past 30 years, Eddie has also served the profession in many different parts of the world during his long career, and he recounted some of his experiences to the members present. The new branch Chairwoman, Lorraine Clarke, then presented the medal for outstanding service to him.
Two other awards were announced in the absence of their recipients. Richard Ebbs has been awarded Honorary Membership in recognition of his longstanding contribution to the IBMS and service as an active committee member. Miss M J Street has also been awarded a 50 year commemorative medal.
"We plan to have another meeting very soon to organise the future meetings programme", adds Andrew Platt, Training Officer in the John Radcliffe Hospital's Haematology Department. "We hope to hold quiz nights as well as arranging further talks from commercial companies. We will invite clinical colleagues to talk to us about various aspects of laboratory medicine, and also hope to have talks about the impending Agenda for Change."
IBMS members from other local hospitals such as Stoke Mandeville and Wexham Park have already expressed interest in future branch activities, and a warm welcome will also be extended to any visiting members from outside the region.