It will come as no surprise to you that as I write this, we remain in unchartered waters with regards to Covid-19 and I hope that you and your families are well and that you are safe within your professional role. I am sure that we have all experienced, and some of us continue to, uncertainty within the workplace. Certainly, as an academic life is very different with no students on site, and a significant reduction in clinical workload in my working week. Remote teaching and learning however has exploded and am I pleased that it seems students have taken to this like ducks to water. Thankfully this continues to work well, which I am grateful for as I suspect this may well be a core component of future teaching.
Aside from the obvious, as a Council Member I have been involved in developing the BAOS website, which I must initially pay gratitude to Pete Brotherton for the spectacular revision of the site a couple of years ago. I am sure you will agree that the site is now much fresher and easier to navigate. With the essential input from Shelley, Sophie and Rita we are in the process of developing the Members’ area with additional resources and links to key areas. As part of this, I would be delighted for suggestions from Members as to how you think the Members’ area could be improved. We had a minor glitch last year relating to a complex ‘coding’ issue, causing some Members not to be able to access the journal. This, however, seems to be now repaired and should allow a direct route from the Members’ area to the journal. One aspect which I was keen to pursue, and we already have this live for the CAST group, is the use of forums to allow Members to communicate within the subgroups of BAOS. The more I consider this though, the more
I wonder if Members are less likely to use this and are more likely to use a platform which is accessible from their smartphone or tablet? More and more do we as a society crave quick and direct access to communication and having to log into a website and then a forum may be seen as laborious and time consuming! I had considered sending out a survey regarding this issue, but in the current climate I think we are all saturated with surveys, so if I could encourage you to email BAOS with website suggestions and perhaps a survey will land in your inbox later in the year!
Secondly, and finally, could I thank all Members for completing the Covid-19 survey which we have sent out each week since the lockdown. The information has been extremely useful and as I write this, myself, Paul and Divya are working hard on the data which we hope to share with you all in the near future. It has been particularly interesting discovering what our Membership have been involved in through Covid-19, and the challenges which you have faced. We appreciate the time and effort which many of you have put into recording this data.