CONGRESS 2023 - Biomedical Scientist Empowerment, Education and Discussion Group: Improving access to CPD for hospital transfusion staff

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) Patient Blood Management (PBM) team, with the support of the London Regional Transfusion Committee, created a remote, no-cost education group for biomedical scientists aimed at providing ongoing professional development for transfusion laboratory professionals. The popularity of the group led to the continuation of the group beyond the pandemic and membership being opened to all healthcare professionals interested in blood transfusion. The group convenes monthly and invites professional/industry experts to deliver lectures on specialist areas of blood transfusion, followed by discussion. The curriculum is flexible and responsive to feedback, incorporating key recommendations, such as those found in the annual SHOT report. The group has covered a wide range of topics, including antibody identification, appropriate use of blood components, haemoglobinopathies, advances in information technology, inventory management, gender reassignment, provision of rare blood, transfusion delays, and emergency preparedness, among others. Over 2800 healthcare professionals worldwide have joined the group, with an average attendance of 165 individuals per meeting. Survey results from 1390 delegates between April 2022 and April 2023 demonstrated high evaluation of the education provided during the sessions, with an average rating of 4.72 out of 5 for information quality and 4.58 out of 5 for information relevance to their day-to-day work. Furthermore, 99.1% of all respondents believed that the education enabled them to offer a better service to patients and service users. The NHSBT PBM team's remote and accessible model has been successful in providing ongoing education and continuing professional development for blood transfusion professionals beyond the pandemic. This cost-effective model has become a regular feature in hospital transfusion continuing professional development, enhancing individual and service performance, and could be a valuable consideration for other healthcare disciplines.

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28th September 2023
Venue: The International Convention Centre (ICC), Birmingham
Learning outcomes

To improve training and education during lockdown conditions, the Biomedical Scientist Empowerment, Education and Discussion Group was launched to provide virtual learning opportunities in blood transfusion. The group now successfully offers lectures to thousands of hospital transfusion laboratory staff, clinicians and students across the UK and internationally.

This presentation offers an update on the group, its plans for the future and how individuals and employers can benefit from being a member of the group.