BACN Update and Response to the COVID-19 pandemic

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Dear BACN members,

Paul Burgess our CEO and I wanted to bring you all up to date on how we are managing during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is unprecedented times and we have a duty to protect our staff and our members engaging in BACN activities. Set out below is a summary of the actions we have agreed so far. These are being reviewed on a weekly basis or  when the Government issues new guidelines.

The pandemic comes at a particularly awkward time for the BACN as we are currently dealing with many of our members renewing and our regional series of events are scheduled to start at the end of April 2020. Your Association can only operate with member subscription so please, if your membership is expiring, do renew. Our promise to you is if we have to postpone or amend our activities, we will endeavour to ensure that we meet our promise to you all. Meetings can be rescheduled, held virtually and we are already in discussion with our partners about this.

Many of our other activities are virtual and continue as usual. The members private Facebook site as always will be a great source of advice and support to you all as businesses face mounting pressure from the fallout from the virus.

The BACN is also looking at options for providing access to on line educational and training tools. We will report back further on this.

It is our hope that over time Covid-19 will reach manageable levels and we can all return to normality. Paul, I and the Board all wish you well as we look to maintain our activities in the best interests of our patients and society in general.

HQ Update

All the BACN HQ team will be working remotely from home. This will not affect any of our day to day services. Please continue to call the BACN should you need to and as per normal your call will be answered by our answering service and replied to by one of the team. We are all able to receive your emails, and again we can respond to your enquiry as previously. We will continue to review the situation, via regular communication between the team, and on the back of any further information issued by the Government. We will endeavour to run as many of our services as normal, and we are always on hand to support our members.

Annual Renewals

It is the start of the BACN annual renewal period, and for many of you that will mean that you are due for renewal. You can check this by logging into the BACN website but you should also have received an email advising you of your expiry last week. We very much hope you intend to re-join us again this year. The organisation can only survive with the valued support of its members.  The only impact our remote working will have on renewals for annual members will be physical certificates. These will of course be posted once  the office is operational again; please do bear with us in these unusual and unforeseen circumstances. Annual paying members can download a copy of their new certificate by logging into the BACN website and going to ‘My Certificates’. All membership material for monthly members is digital and so they will not be affected. If you are experiencing cashflow issues, you can always move to the monthly payment option. Please talk to Gareth Lewis, BACN Membership and Marketing Manager if you wish to do this.

Regional Meetings

Currently all regional meetings are all scheduled to go ahead. All our meetings are under 30 delegates, and following current Government advice, (as of 16th March) we will continue to plan for these events to take place. If advice was to change, we will of course update you, and refund any deposit paid. We are also working on a contingency plan and are confident we will still be able to provide you with educational content and peer to peer support. We do ask that any of our members who are due to attend an event  are not presenting symptoms (recent fever, continuous cough etc).

Our schedule for our Autumn cycle of regional events is also in place with sponsors.

Annual Conference

The annual conference is currently set to go ahead, on 5th & 6th November at Edgbaston stadium in Birmingham. We will continue to work in line with Government guidelines regarding mass gatherings, however at the peak of our conference, numbers of delegates and exhibitors are 450. We hope that by November 2020 we will be through the crisis.

Please feel free to contact our team at HQ if you have any questions or e mail Sharon and myself:          

Sharon Bennett,
BACN Chair

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