It's been a busy few weeks for #TeamIronOverload with two national clinician conferences and a large-scale public awareness raising event at Balmoral, Northern Ireland.

British Society of Haematology Conference 

Nurse Advisor, Victoria was joined by volunteer Neil Harper at the British Society for Haematology’s annual conference at the ICC in Birmingham at the end of April. It was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness and profile of our busy charity to clinicians from all over the UK, who regularly care for people with GH. Promoting our ‘patient information’ leaflets, helpline, Buddy support scheme as well as informing them of the on-line webinars and resources available for clinicians- it was two days well spent. It also gave us the chance to remind them of the improved donor arrangements with NHSBT for people with GH.

RCN Congress

In May, Advanced Nurse Practitioner Diogo and Victoria travelled to the RCN congress in Brighton. Exhibiting for 3 days we managed to engage hundreds of Nurses from all over the UK. Just like in Birmingham, raising awareness of GH was our aim. What was motivational for us was to hear from Nurses working in different specialties, who didn’t think GH was relevant to them-but were fascinated to learn otherwise! Dermatology? We’ve got a leaflet for that! Rheumatology/ Orthopaedics- Have you read this? Cardiology…. take this leaflet….!

We also spoke with many Mental Health Nurses. Having our booklets to hand and our recent study was key to engaging with this huge cohort who may have usually passed us by. We all really felt that we made a connection with this branch of nursing, which as we know is an area of care that impacts our community a great deal.

We were fortunate to be joined by our HUK volunteer Neil again and this time, Alex Allcoat made the journey to Brighton from Liverpool. Alex won HUKs ‘Nursing & Healthcare Practitioner, Best Practice Award’ and we were able to present her with her award in person. It was so busy- we were glad of their help on the Stand. You can read more about Alex’s work here.

Bringing all her expertise in Liver Health, Alex joined us for a face-to-face Iron Brew social. We had a good turn-out and it was a brilliant opportunity for some there to question Alex on the ins and outs of fibro scans. She was able to educate and reassure and offered another level of support. All topics were discussed and those who have lived well with GH for many years were able to pass on their experiences to those who were more newly diagnosed. Victoria had the chance to meet Michael and his wife in person- whom she has been supporting on the helpline since his diagnosis in October last year!