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BCAM President Celebrates Successes as 20th Anniversary Year Draws To A Close

British College of Aesthetic Medicine President Dr Uliana Gout says the organisation’s response to the Covid challenge and modernisation during its 20th anniversary year have further cemented its place as a leader in the aesthetic medicine sector.

Dr Gout, who took over as President just before lockdown was announced in 2020, says the College has much to celebrate as the anniversary year draws to a close. The launch of a new logo and website, the introduction of a Masters-level examination that sets the standard for aesthetic medicine and BCAM’s wellbeing and international relations initiatives are amongst numerous achievements in 2021.

Dr Gout said: “In its 20th anniversary year, BCAM has led the aesthetic medicine sector with pioneering initiatives and exceptional support for its members. The programme of modernisation, including a new website and the appointment of a communications coordinator, has helped to equip BCAM for the next 20 years.

“Communication and connectivity have been central to all of BCAM’s activities in 2021, from working with stakeholders such as the DHSC and MHRA to improving our members’ fortnightly newsletter and social media content. The BCAM community is flourishing and feedback from our members has been positive and encouraging.”

The College started the year with the launch of the BCAM 20th Anniversary Mindfulness and Wellbeing Initiative to support members who had been impacted by the pandemic. The initiative was led by BCAM Trustee Dr Bhavjit Kaur and the College partnered with a leader in the field - independent think tank The Mindfulness Initiative - for the launch of the project and provided live lunchtime sessions offering advice and practical exercises.

The initiative continued throughout 2021 with a variety of presenters including cognitive behavioural therapist Slee Parrish, who created a wellbeing programme for NHS workers during the pandemic. A whole suite of resources is now available in the members area of the BCAM website.

In June, BCAM unveiled its new logo and website after an extensive development programme involving some of the College’s founder members including Dr Rita Rakus, Dr Mike Comins, Dr John Curran and Dr Paul Cronin. BCAM worked with a leading web design company with experience in building medical sites and now has a modern, informative and educational website with complex CRM system where members can find all their information. Annual subscriptions, event bookings and CPD certificates are all available in one place and can be accessed at any time.  

The success of Laura Trott MP’s Private Members Bill that resulted in a new law banning toxin and filler treatments for under 18s put regulation firmly in the spotlight in 2021, and in August BCAM created the Regulatory, Ethics and Professional Standards Committee under the chairmanship of Dr John Curran to focus on this important area of the College’s work.

The Committee meets every few weeks and its number comprises prominent BCAM members and BCAM appraisers with extensive experience in aesthetic medicine.

September saw the first sitting of the new BCAM examination, the culmination of more than two years’ work led by consultant plastic and aesthetic surgeon Dalvi Humzah who chairs the BCAM Examination Board. The exam, which was overseen by BCAM Trustee Dr Catherine Fairris and Membership and Education Coordinator Helen Calkin, is set at Masters level and establishes the standard for aesthetic medicine in the UK, a fact that has already been acknowledged by others in the field.

In November BCAM announced an exciting new international collaboration with a prestigious organisation representing associations in 32 countries across the globe. BCAM Trustee Dr Aggie Zatonska is leading on the initiative, which sees the College spearheading international engagement by working with UIME (Union Internationale de Médecine Esthétique), furthering its aims of pioneering patient safety, promoting public education and growing the aesthetic medicine community.

BCAM also forged new collaborations in the UK with stakeholders through Board Trustee Dr John Elder, who sits on the committee of the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) on the College’s behalf.

BCAM’s virtual education programme continued throughout 2021 following the 2020 Virtual Annual Conference when BCAM rose to the Covid challenge and became the first association to stage a major virtual event. In its anniversary year, BCAM launched a programme of breakfast and lunchtime educational Zoom events covering a variety of topics from VAT and doctors’ appraisals to complications and treating skin of colour.

The 2021 Conference in September was once again held virtually and attracted a record number of delegates who had the option to watch either live or online via a dedicated web portal, with sessions over two days featuring key sector topics such as regulation and transgender considerations in modern-day aesthetic treatments.

BCAM carried out its Annual Clinical Review for the ninth consecutive year, collating members’ clinical data about patients, treatments and complications to provide a detailed insight into aesthetic medicine in the UK. This is the only audit of its kind in the UK and is shared with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to inform and guide government thinking. Dr Zatonska leads on this important project, supported by Dr Paul Myers who is the BCAM lead for Revalidation, Appraisal and Quality Improvement.

Throughout 2021 BCAM has lived by its mantra of leading with ‘facts not opinions’, providing members with valuable guidance and support through its refreshed fortnightly newsletter, educational sessions and the Virtual Annual Conference.

Dr Gout said: “As we reach the end of our 20th anniversary year, we are keen to celebrate the successes and build on the strong base that we have created, continuing to develop relationships with stakeholders, pressing ahead with international collaborations and campaigning for better regulation of the aesthetic medicine sector.

“BCAM was formed by some of the pioneers of aesthetic medicine in the UK to establish a professional body for this new specialism and we are proud of its heritage. Many of the founders are still members today, offering mentorship and sharing their expertise and experience, and their contribution is highly valued.

“I would like to personally thank my fellow Trustees and the BCAM Professional Services Team who have worked hard to improve member connectivity and engagement during our anniversary year. We now look forward to embarking on the next chapter of BCAM’s history, celebrating our past whilst embracing a modern, vibrant new future.”

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