ABN annual conference 2016

Posted in Special Feature on 14th Jun 2016

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Professor Smith qualified in General Medical in Liverpool and wrote an MD thesis on Breathing During Sleep in Muscular Dystrophy. He trained in Clinical Neurology in Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Cardiff. After four years as Consultant in Cornwall he returned to Cardiff in 1996 to develop interests in epilepsy and education. He became ABN President in 2015 and was President of the International League Against Epilepsy UK Chapter (2008-11). He co-edits Practical Neurology and has a busy commitment to training as Sub-Dean for Assessments, and Associate Medical Director for Quality for the Royal College of Physicians.

Brighton has been called the UK’s “hippest city”, and the “the happiest place to live in the UK”.  So what better place to turn to the Bard and “As You Like It” for our inspiration?

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players

Our stage this year is the Brighton Centre, our theme is ‘the seven ages of man’,  and our players include members of the British Paediatric Neurology Association who have worked with us to produce an exciting programme with talks that have relevance to adult and paediatric neurologists across the full lifespan.  So you will find lectures ranging from genetic counselling to the neurology of normal ageing.

They have their exits and their entrances

We are pleased to have supported the ‘entrance’ of many young researchers with the ABN abstract bursary for junior researchers, which resulted in a 20% increase in abstracts and the award of almost 100 bursaries. Our poster exhibition this year will include a separate section featuring the work of ABN fellows and our pre-meeting training and development day on Monday 17 May will again offer specific sessions for foundation doctors, specialist registrars and junior researchers.  We will also be holding our regular ‘Need to Know Neurology’ session for GPs.

And one man in his time plays many parts

The success of the ABN conference depends on the contributions of many different men and women. We are delighted to announce that Alastair Compston is the 2016 ABN Medallist and will give a lecture entitled: “A Tale of Three Cities” on Wednesday 18 May. Our invited speakers include Ingrid Scheffer, Paediatric Neurologist and Professor at the University of Melbourne and Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, who will deliver the 22nd Gordon Holmes lecture: ‘Epilepsy genetics comes of age” and David Pencheon, Director of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit, who will give the Practical Neurology lecture: ‘Addressing Armageddon – and avoiding the 8th age of mankind…’.

The negotiation of employment contracts has dominated many discussions this year. We have allocated a special session on ‘Update on new junior doctor and consultant contracts’ including contributions from Johann Malawana, Chair, UK Junior Doctors Committee, BMA and Trevor Pickersgill, Chair, UK Consultants’ Conference.

The Special Interest Groups will once again run their own meetings over three different sessions during the conference, allowing delegates to choose from 12 different areas of interest.  As mentioned above the plenary sessions will address topics across all seven ages of man whilst the parallel sessions will again follow cross-cutting themes with sessions focused on: disease natural history, disease pathophysiology, diagnostics, disease management, as well as audit and training.

We hope you enjoy the meeting in the vibrant setting of Brighton.

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ACNR 2015;16(2):17-18. Published online 14/6/16

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