About 60 patients gathered in Maidstone on Saturday (03 August 2019) for the latest quarterly Patient Information Day (PID) organised by Haemochromatosis UK.

The group heard first from Consultant Gastroentrologist George Bird from Maidstone Hospital, who gave an excellent overview of GH, based around a fascinating case study – that of Ernest Hemmingway. Many of the points made by Dr Bird underscored the need for better education of healthcare professionals, in particular GPs, which led nicely on to our second speaker; HUK Education Programme Manager Samantha Hobbs spent some time telling the delegates about our new education programme and her early work reaching out to GPs and other primary care professionals.

Dr Roseanna Brady ran a session encouraging those present to think about what good care should look like for GH patients. This stimulated plenty of dialogue between patients and will inform HUK’s work influencing patient pathways in the future. Finally David Head, Operations Executive at HUK, spoke about the genetics of haemochromatosis and the heritage of the condition, rooted in Ireland in prehistoric times.

David said of the event “We all felt this was another very successful event, and I’m very pleased that we were able to bring the “HUK roadshow” to the South East of England for the first time. The multitude of questions we tackled and the buzz in the room as patients met and shared their experienced underlined the importance of getting people together in this way. I’d like to express my thanks to our external speaker Dr Bird for an excellent presentation at just the right level.”

The Haemochromatosis UK PID programme for 2020 will be announced in full very shortly.