Chair's Welcome 2021

Autumn / Winter 2021

An update of the BSPHN activities in 2021.

Welcome to the autumn/winter edition of the BSPHN publication! The last few months have resulted in significant change and many of us are starting to reflect and try to learn from the events of the last eighteen months. This is certainly the case for the BSPHN and we have been grateful for the support, dedication and hard work of our Committee, and our members, who have made been involved vital work responding to the pandemic. However, as we continue to support the ongoing response and the significant need resulting from the pandemic it is important to consider how we stay resilient as individuals and acknowledge that for many of us it will take time to recover from this experience. Taking care of ourselves, physically and emotionally, will be important over the coming weeks and months.

As an organisation we are also going through a period of reflection and planning our direction of travel moving forward. Part of this work involves reflecting on our journey to date, and so in preparation for writing this piece I looked back at some of the past editions of our publication (which I highly recommend and are available on our website) and I was really taken by how much our members have achieved since we started our journey back in 2014. As a community of practice, we have played an important role in protecting the health of the population and have responded with an openness to sharing best practice, resources and learning in a way that breaks down boundaries and supports capacity within the system. As a community of practice, we are in a good position to support the ongoing need to build interdisciplinary perspectives into the system to improve outcomes for our population. This is immensely important and being part of the BSPHN during this time has been a blessing, allowing us to learn so much from others experiences.

So what is next for the BSPHN? First, we will continue to learn from and listen to our members, who are our greatest asset. We recently sent out a survey to all our members and will be reviewing your responses over the coming weeks. Second, we are continuing our journey towards becoming a charity and I am pleased to share that our application has been accepted by the Charity Commission. This is a significant achievement, and we will be sending out further information on this shortly including an opportunity for our members to vote on and formalise this process. Third, we will continue to support our colleagues across the system to embed behavioural/social science as part of our role to support the Strategy and work with our new and existing regional Hubs. Fourth, we are planning our 2022 conference, which will be virtual but hope to be able to all come together in person at some point next year. Fifth, we will shortly be publishing a range of tools and resources including Guidance for Employers, pre-recorded bitesize webinars and tools developed in collaboration with colleagues from across the system.

There is much to do, but the opportunities for collaboration and to demonstrate impact have never been greater. It is by coming together as a supportive Community of Practice that we can have the greatest impact and it is something that I am immensely proud to be part of.