Society of British Neurological Surgeons Spring Meeting

All those who attended and presented at the SBNS Spring meeting this year agree that it was a great success, both academically and socially. It was held at the Clayton Hotel, Silver Springs Conference Centre, in a beautiful part of Southern Ireland where delegates and speakers from around the world were given a warm Irish welcome by our hosts at Cork University Hospital.

Prior to the start of the main conference there was a sub-specialty meeting on Hypermobility related to connective tissue disorders (mainly focusing on Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) with a view to create a multidisciplinary national working Group comprising neurosurgeons, rheumatologists and  geneticists.

The Main Conference

Day 1 - The main conference began with a half-day LifeLong Learning Session on Skull Base neurosurgery led by the British Skull Base Society and included international and UK speakers who updated delegates on all aspects of the specialty. The afternoon commenced with an excellent opening talk entitled “Cushing and Dandy: two prickly neurosurgical giants” delivered by a senior Cork Consultant, Charles Marks. This was followed by a Hot Topic Session on the SBNS’s latest projects: our new Global Initiative, Mentoring Scheme for our members, a talk by the Chair of the British Neurosurgical Trainees Association and a Clinical Trial Update by our Academic Chair, Prof. Michael Jenkinson.

Later that afternoon there was a Spine session which included 9 free papers and a plenary talk entitled “Intraoperative Monitoring, what is it good for?.........absolutely nothing!” delivered by Ciaran Bolger. Running in parallel with the Spine session was a Radiosurgery session run by Mary Murphy, from the National Hospital in London. The day ended with an Oral Poster session as we like to give our poster presenters an opportunity to speak in the Lecture Theatre.

The Welcome Reception that evening had an Irish theme with local food, Irish dancing and of course Irish whiskey tasting! It was an excellent opportunity for our guest speakers, delegates and sponsors to socialise and network.

Day 2 – Thursday morning kicked off with a breakfast seminar, kindly sponsored by Insightec, on Focused Ultrasound for Movement Disorder, with Mark Radon presenting interesting results and experiences on behalf of the Walton Centre. The rest of the day was organised with 8 free paper sessions relating to the following themes – Oncology (x2), Vascular, Trauma, Skullbase, Spine, CSF, and Teaching Training. Four of these sessions were headed up by a plenary talk given by an expert in that particular topic, some of whom had travelled many miles to attend such as Ramez Kirollos all the way from Singapore! Clearly demonstrating fantastic commitment from members of the Society to these meetings. It’s also important to acknowledge that there were more than 70 free papers presented on this day alone, covering a wealth of information and research to help the advancement of Neurosurgery.

The day’s highlights were our two named guest lectures which were delivered by: Ossama Al-Mefty
– “Acoustic Tumour: Hear Me” and Russell Andrews – “A Tribute to Sir Geoffrey Jefferson – a Neurosurgical Play in Three Acts”.

In the evening the Gala Dinner was held at the famous Cork Gaol where delegates were wined, dined and entertained by the “Sultans of Spine” – a talented band of spinal neurosurgeons who really   know how to rock and got everyone on the dance floor.

Day 3 – Following a late evening of entertainment, the Breakfast Seminar started a little later than usual at 9 am. It was given by Professor Noel Fanning, Consultant Neuroradiologist in Cork, on the topic of Duropathies who gave his audience a good insight into the valuable work of a neuroradiologist.  The morning continued with more free papers that had been selected from the many excellent abstract submissions. These were divided into two sessions running in parallel. One relating to Paediatrics, which included a plenary talk entitled “Re-evaluation of neonatal IVH – some thoughts from Dublin” delivered by Darach Crimmins. The other was a Miscellaneous session with topical papers such as “Gender distribution of invited speakers at major neurosurgical conferences: a retrospective open cohort study” and generating some rather interesting audience engagement!

Later that morning Angelos Kolias, from the University of Cambridge, who was awarded the Royal College of Surgeons’ Hunterian Medal for his paper entitled ‘Decompressive Craniectomy in Traumatic Brain Injury – strengthening the evidence base', delivered the Hunterian Lecture.

Our final Keynote Lecture was an address by Tánaiste Micheál Martin, the Minster for Foreign Affairs and Defence in Southern Ireland. It was a real honour to have him take time out of his busy   schedule to attend our meeting and pay tribute to the neurosurgical staff in Cork for all their hard work and dedication, especially during the pandemic and to talk about his work and his  government’s plans for investment in the NHS and the medical community.

The afternoon came to a close with a final free paper session on Trauma, providing an opportunity for research studies such as “MAST Trials – Management of Seizures after TBI, an update” and “A randomized Trial of Timing to Restart Direct Oral Anticoagulants after Traumatic Intracranial Haemorrhage (Restart tICrH)” to be promoted and support potential recruitment.

We hope all our delegates, speakers and sponsors enjoyed the meeting as much as the SBNS Meetings Committee and our Hosts enjoyed organising it.

Preparations are now in full swing for our Autumn Meeting in London 12-15 September 2023 which will be held at Twickenham Conference and Events Centre.  We have an exciting programme planned, Full details can be found on our website

We look forward to welcoming the neurosurgical community around the world to London in September.

September 2023