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last updated:26/06/2024 @ 11:16 am
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Highlights from Occupational Health 2024 in Belfast

The 2024 Annual Scientific Meeting took place on June 20th and 21st in Belfast. Attended by nearly 300 delegates and speakers, the meeting brought together occupational health professionals from as far as Australia, New Zealand and Brazil.

The meeting was opened by Professor Sir Michael McBride, CMO Northern Ireland offering his welcome address before the two-day mixture of lectures, presentations, clinical updates and poster sessions took place in the impressive Titanic Belfast venue, with optional workplace visits to local employers.

A diversity of discussion

Attendees at occupational health 24

L to R: Dr Louise Hancock, Dr Lanre Ogunyemi with Dr Will Ponsonby, Dr Robin Cordell with Dr Hannah Mason and daughter.

The range of topics reflected the breadth of the occupational health specialty. Starting with Dr Will Ponsonby’s Thackrah lecture on the health issues affecting mining and concluding on day two with Dr Brooke Lanyard discussing managing liver disease in the workplace, topics included arthritis, lung health, leadership in OH, menopause, silicosis, work travel and workplace loneliness – and many, many more. In fact, a number of delegates said it was the diversity of topics that encouraged them to attend.

A sense of connection

While professional development was a key objective for many, what really came across in the many conversations taking place was a sense of connection experienced. As one delegate commented, “It’s one of the very few times you get so many occupational health professionals in the room at the same time, away from home and away from work. For me it’s the relationships that are the most important part.” Another held a very similar view. “There was a general sense of collegiality, and of support, and of trust. And very many helpful conversations took place.”

Reflections on the future of OH

The Annual Scientific Meeting was themed ‘Leading OH into the Future’ so the ‘OH challenges in the digital revolution’ lecture given by Professor Malcolm Sim AM, from Monash University Australia was very appropriate. Prof Sim addressed the issues and opportunities presented by how technology is changing the way we work and how managing workplace health can be helped by AI and other advances.

Reflecting on the futuristic content, Dr Shriti Pattani OBE said, “From an educational point of view, it was a fantastic range of topics but also a very futuristic view. Where we are going, where’s it’s all leading, covering Al and the things that will influence our practice. So really, at the leading edge of occupational medicine.”

The thoughts of the FOM and SOM Presidents

FOM and SOM presidents occupational health 2024

L to R (top row): Dr Robin Cordell, Dr Shriti Pattani OBE, Louise Craig, Prof Malcolm Sim, Prof Rikard Moen, Nick Pahl. L to R (bottom row): Dr Lanre Ogunyemi, Dr Kenji Saito, Prof Steve Nimmo, Prof Ira Madan.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Dr Lanre Ogunyemi, SOM President shared his thoughts. “The feedback has been really, really good and inspiring. People are talking about more scientific rigour to the talks, and also being able to have things they can take away. So, we managed to cater to our community very, very well. And I’m really proud of the organisers for that.” FOM President Steve Nimmo added, “It was a great venue and a great meeting with some excellent speakers. I’ve had lots of positive feedback from delegates, and it seems to have been a great success.”




Posters and Prizes

Prize winners at Occupational Health 2024

L to R with Prof Ira Madan are Ms Anzhelika Ghafuri, Dr Cara Ghiglieri, Dr Vaughan Parsons and with Prof Ken Addley is Dr Nuala Kelly.

One of the highlights was the recognition given to others for excellence in their work. This was seen in several ways across the two days. Dr Louise Hancock, winner of the Peter Taylor Trainee Presentation award shared her research titled ‘Mixed methods study of infection risk in patients with solid tumours in the workplace’.

On day two Professor Ira Madan presented several awards including the FOM Morris Cooke Medical student prize to Ms Anzhelika Ghafuri (3rd year KCL medical student) for her presentation ‘Exploring the impact of severe asthma in the workplace: A narrative review’. Dr Cara Ghiglieri (Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work) won the prize for the best poster and Dr Vaughan Parsons (London Centre for Work and Health) won the FOM prize for the best oral presentation ‘Assessing opportunities and challenges for growing the allied health professional working in occupational health specialty in the National Health Service (NHS).’

Professor Ken Addley OBE presented The Irish Faculty of Occupational Medicine, RCPI Poster Prize for the best poster that represents research, policy or education in the field of occupational health within an all-island Irish context. This was won by Dr Nuala Kelly and Dr Dominick Natin.

Join us next year

The next Annual Scientific Meeting will take place next June 2025 in Brighton.

Added: 26/06/2024 Posted In: Events and Conferences, General NewsTags: , , |