On behalf of myself and the members of SCST Council may I wish you, and  your colleagues a happy, peaceful, safe and most importantly restful time over this Festive Season. As we approach the end of 2021 it is so important that we take the time to reflect on the successes of the year, as well as the challenges we have overcome. For the second year we have continued to face the most difficult circumstances any of us will have faced in our personal and professional lives, but I am beyond proud that our profession has met these challenges head on, and through sheer hard work and commendable ingenuity continued to deliver the very best care for our patients. And all with a sense of humour intact for the most part!

Many members of Council have been involved in revamping the way that the society is structured and the way it works on behalf of its members. News of the changes will be announced at the National Update Meeting in February*. Changes to the website over the next few months will mean that you start to see increased functionality and improved resources available to members – especially around the equivalence process.

Very special recognition goes to the members of the Education Committee who have all worked so hard to support virtual learning and accelerate the examination process onto the online platform. Hundreds and hundreds of hours of work were needed in order to move from the paper-based system to online and feedback proves that without a doubt it was worth it. This mammoth task is a testament to the dedication of the whole team – absolutely well done!

One of our key targets in 2022 will be to increase the membership as we recognise that when we are asked to represent our profession at national level, we do so with only a proportion of the workforce. Given the scale of the changes occurring in the NHS at present, it is important that we have a loud voice – and the bigger we are then the stronger we are. We continue to raise the profile of cardiac science wherever we are able to and are grateful that Health Education England are now investing in our future workforce so proactively.

We are in the process of documenting some of the success stories from over the last 20 months and will be gathering examples of innovation and lessons learnt. The purpose is twofold – to recognise how far we have journeyed in spite of the hurdles thrown at us by Covid, as well as celebrating those achievements. You will see invitations going out on social media to participate in this project.

So, before we head into the New Year, I’d like to thank everyone again for the work they do – both for SCST and in their everyday professional lives. Have a restful and happy Christmas – you deserve it. And the best of luck for 2022 – if the predictions are true then we might need it!

Joanne Ashton – President SCST

* The SCST National Update Meeting will be held on the afternoon of Friday, 4th February as a virtual event.  Formal announcement for this years event will be released before the new year.  This years event will include discussions on Workforce Profile, Training & Education of the Workforce as it is now, and for the future.  The effects of COVID on service provision and training as well as an update from council members on projects within the society.  We will be joined by a plethora of key note speakers.  As in previous years we will also be running the SCST Excellence Awards with the nomination form being released just before the new year.  Tickets to this live virtual event will be released via Eventbrite in the next few weeks.  We look forward to seeing you all there!