BIVDA would like to say a huge thank you to all who attended the Joint Working Party Seminar and 30th Anniversary celebration. The event was a success and a tremendous opportunity to connect and meet with others beyond the confines of a TEAMS call screen.
All of the five working parties taking place – procurement, infectious diseases and near-patient testing, digital, environmental and regulatory affairs – were packed full of useful content and featured a host of fascinating speakers.
Perhaps best of all was seeing so many attendees moving between working parties, allowing them to access material and discussions which they would otherwise not experience. Particular kudos to those who effortlessly managed to navigate the labyrinthine nature of The Belfry’s rooms!
Following this, and a very agreeable lunch, members sat down for this year’s MGM. New BIVDA Chair Helen Tucker gave an excellent run-down of BIVDA activities and noted the significant and respectable expansion of the membership, which now tops 236.
Professor Luke Butler, Associate Professor in Law at the University of Nottingham, then gave an overview of his BIVDA-commissioned report which has examined government procurement of COVID-19 tests during the pandemic. Although not fully completed yet, he provided numerous compelling insights into the decision-making processes and procurement environment the Government operated under between 2020-22.
Members then had presentations delivered by senior figures from NHS England and DHSC, including Sandra Barrow and David Lawson. We note that the latter has not begun his role as Head of the MedTech Directorate yet – David will start work next week – and really appreciate his keenness to attend our event and engage with BIVDA and our members.
The opportunity to network followed the close of the MGM before many donned their evening attire for the 30th Anniversary Celebratory Dinner. We were delighted to welcome many special guests including Matt Whitty, Maggie Throup MP and Dame June Raine. Matt kicked off proceedings with a presentation on access to innovation in the NHS before members began tucking into their meals.
As an appropriate final flourish, attendees were treated to an after-dinner speech by the BBC’s Dr Michael Mosley. Dr Mosley talked candidly about the many diagnostic tests he has taken for his television shows, as well as gruesome experiences such as voluntarily swallowing tapeworms from cow cysts in Kenya. Thankfully dessert had already been consumed by then!
It was a fitting end to the evening as it served as a reminder of the incredible impact that in-vitro diagnostic tests have upon our lives. Year-on-year their ability to cast light upon worrying symptoms allow us to prevent millions of deaths and take greater control of our lives. We are fortunate to have such a thriving, innovative IVD sector in this country and, again, it was a pleasure to host you all for the day.
The fun has not stopped there though, with the BIVDA Regulatory Affairs Conference taking place across Thursday and today, led ably by BIVDA’s Regulatory Affairs Manager Ashleigh Batchen.
We would also like to thank the BIVDA secretariat – particularly Nat, Pam and Helen – and Barnaby and Alice from Aspasia Events who all worked tirelessly to put on this mammoth event. Thank you too to our CEO Doris-Ann Williams for enabling her team to do this and for her continued leadership across over 20 years as BIVDA’s guiding light.
We hope everyone had a safe journey home and we look forward to seeing you next time!