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  President's e-Bulletin - May 2021  

Dear Colleagues

I trust that the reduction in pressure on hospital services, the renewed contact with friends and family and the bright spring weather has done something to lift our flagging spirits. A core function of this society is to be a place of meeting and encouragement, which may be particularly important to a specialty which does not have many large departments. I am therefore intensely disappointed to announce that our next annual conference will need again to be conducted remotely. It will be held over the 9/10 November as a workshop in the morning and abstract and platform presentations in the afternoon. It will again be a joint venture with the SRR and ACCPLD following a similar format as last year but with an earlier call for abstracts (to be announced shortly).

COVID-19 & Post COVID-19 Syndrome

Although COVID related matters will not this year be the focus of the conference it has been an area of intense work for many of our members. The Leeds group have developed their community service and C19YRS further. The C19YRS questionnaire is recommended as an alternative instrument in the recently updated NHS England guidance on Post COVID Syndrome assessment and they have recently published a valuable description of the rehabilitation approaches they are using for patients with Post COVID-19 Syndrome (here..). Lynne Turner-Stokes and colleagues have published two papers describing validation of the PICUPS instrument (PICUPS Part I & PICUPS Part II) which were referenced in the recent BMJ editorial on Rehabilitation after Critical Illness.  These papers will be incorporated into the BSRM guideline being written on community rehabilitation. This will take its place alongside an updated guideline by Nicky Chater and colleagues on vocational rehabilitation which will be very relevant to this patient group.

Manoj Sivan, President elect, has been appointed by the WHO to shape the COVID rehabilitation strategy for Europe, a great honour. Our European colleagues perceive the rehabilitation management of patients disabled by COVID-19 to be a core responsibility of Rehabilitation Medicine/PRM as ‘expert generalists’ and Manoj’s appointment will be a valuable link to their endeavours. In the UK we will be working alongside a strong primary care sector and established community teams and members of the BSRM are engaging closely with the RCGP and the Community Rehabilitation Alliance in taking this forward.

Remote training & BSRM website update

A system of remote training is beginning to take shape with trainees from around the country being invited to join departmental teaching and case presentations. I am grateful to our trainees Anna Brain, Vinay Parambil and Adam Boardman for convening this. Forthcoming events, which may also be of interest to Consultant members, are listed on this What’s App group


The BSRM website, as stated in the last Bulletin, needs upgrading to meet the training and other needs of the Society. Eight colleagues have kindly agreed to be involved but Derick Wade would value any further offers of help.  Even if you are not able to be engaged directly, please could you respond to this short questionnaire designed to sample member’s views on how it functions currently. It is


The syllabus described in the last bulletin has now been drawn up and should be a great help to both trainees and their Educational Supervisors in monitoring progress in training (LINK). We are very grateful to Derick Wade and the Curriculum Advisory Group for the extensive work that has gone into this.


The Curriculum Advisory Group

Anna Brain, Rohit Bhide, Moheb Gaid, Jav Haider, Ram Hariharan, Siva Nair, Vinay Parambil, Anton Pick, Santullo Piera, Sohail Salam, Alex Scott, Simon Shaw, Manoj Sivan, Matt Smith, Pradeep Thumbikat, Elizabeth Stoppard, Derick Wade with contribution from Lynne Turner-Stokes and a number of trainees.


ESPRM Special Interest Group on the Rehabilitation Management of Mental Health Conditions and Conversion Disorder

The BSRM is a member of the European Society of Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine which is hoping to establish a special interest group on the rehabilitation management of mental health conditions and Conversion Disorder.  The rehabilitation of patients with functional neurological disorders is attracting increased interest and it would be good to work alongside Iuly Treger from Romania and other European colleagues in this.

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Update re administrative arrangements

Clinical Rehabilitation is provided to eligible members as the BSRM’s officially linked publication. This will continue, but from next year it will only be provided in an electronic format unless hard copies are specifically requested. This, and a huge volume of other administrative work, has been quietly undertaken for the Society by Sandy Weatherhead over three decades. For many of us she has been like the Queen – always been there.  She is the familiar point of contact from both within and outside the Society but only rarely in the limelight. One such occasion is at the end of our meetings when without fail she is given a large bouquet of flowers from a clearly deeply grateful local organiser. I am using this bulletin to express my sincere gratitude which I am sure is shared by all of us. She has kindly agreed to stay for a while at reduced hours to offer some mentoring support to the interim person taking on some of her responsibilities. There will be nobody in post until the end of May and so I would be grateful if communications could be kept to a minimum during this period.

BSRM Strategy

When our administrative capacity is reconstituted I hope it will be possible to host some participant discussion on the strategic direction of the Society. I understand that the key determinants of an organisation are the strength of its relationships, the quality of its information and the clarity of its identity. The latter has been brought into sharp focus by the name change debate. A Consensus Document is being written and I have drawn up a schematic outline of what I think are our principle strategic aims, but there needs to be a deeper debate on what the BSRM is all about and indeed what Rehabilitation Medicine is all about. The debate will be influenced profoundly by our new curriculum and thus is both timely and potentially valuable if conducted in the right way. In the next bulletin I hope to describe platforms that we can use to progress this but in the meanwhile would welcome members’ views for:  ‘The work is to enter into a world of shared significance’ (Varela).

John Burn

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