Fifth Sense participated in the 2014 British Rhinological Society (BRS) conference held on 16th May at the Assembly House, Norwich. The BRS is a sub-group of ENTUK, with membership consisting mainly of Consultants and Registrars who work in the field of rhinology – the nose and sinuses.
Our presence at the conference gave us an excellent opportunity to engage directly with the ENT profession and raise awareness of the impact of olfactory disorders, and the existence of Fifth Sense.
We felt that the conference was very successful from that perspective. There were a number of talks in the morning, one of which was from Tim Bradshaw. Tim has been working with Mr Carl Philpott on the Personal Accounts of Anosmia (PAAS) study, to which many Fifth Sense members have contributed their own accounts of the difficulties they face in living with the condition. Tim gave an excellent summary of the findings, along with anonymised quotes from the accounts.
This was backed up by an excellent talk from guest speaker Professor Thomas Hummell from the Smell and Taste Clinic at the University of Dresden. Prof Hummell’s talk covered causes, treatment, and the impact of olfactory disorders on patients, and was very well-received by delegates.
Following Prof Hummell’s talk, lunch was served, with guests being issued with a nose clip by Fifth Sense’s Duncan Boak. Dessert consisted of three different flavoured fruit mousses, labelled only with the letters A, B and C. Duncan introduced himself and Fifth Sense to the delegates, and explained how they were to try each mousse with the noseclip on, and guess the different flavours both with and without the nose clips. It was brilliant to see so many of the delegates really engaging with this, and gave Duncan the opportunity to go around, speak to individuals and tell them more about Fifth Sense and the negative experiences of so many of our members, both in terms of quality of life and also from unknowledgable and/or unsupportive doctors.
We also had the opportunity to catch up with nearly all of the Consultants we are working with who treat smell and taste disorders – Sean Carrie, Claire Hopkins, Lisha McClelland and Carl Philpott, who hosted the conference. We’d like to remind all our members of the smell and taste clinics page on our website – www.fifthsense.org.uk/clinics – if you’d like an appointment with any of the clinics featured on the site, then ask your GP for a referral. We also met Amin Javer, who runs a sinus clinic in Vancouver in Canada, with whom we are soon to start work with in providing support for Canadian smell and taste disorder sufferers.
All in all, an excellent day, with lots of new contacts made and plenty of awareness-raising done in a sector of the medical profession that is really important to Fifth Sense and smell and taste disorder sufferers. Hopefully we’ll be back next year!