About this event

  • Date and time Fri 17 Dec 2021 from 6:20pm to 7:20pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Anaesthesia

The Anaesthesia Section would like to invite you to the 2021 Presidential address where Dr Wim Blancke, Consultant Anaesthetist at North Bristol NHS Trust, and qualified Emergency Physician, will be welcomed as the new Section President and provide an insightful, humorous, and inspiring lecture.

Modern Anaesthesia, less than 200 years old, is a vital clinical science, art and skill, that has transformed the lives of humans and animals alike and dictates the majority of any hospital’s budget.

‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ which gave birth to modern anaesthesia through early and modern pioneers, both famous and modest. Success in anaesthesia has always gone hand in glove with creativity, the positive, courageous use of side-effects of medicines, car parts, mobile phones, and many cups of tea - now all more regulated than ever!

The anaesthetists’ cover - the better you are, the less the patient is aware of our existence – has recently been blown by COVID-19, but replaced by PPE and new forms of anaesthesia.

Reflecting on various aspects of the past, present, and future, Dr Blancke's lecture will take you on a walk through a virtual forest where anaesthesia has been trying to find its feet, through history to date, always breaking new ground and stimulating creative minds. He will provide a delightful presentation filled with interesting historical facts, his personal career progression, and humorous anecdotes. 

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Key speakers

Wim Blancke


Consultant Anaesthetist, North Bristol NHS Trust, and qualified Emergency Physician, UK

Speaker's biography

Dually accredited in Anaesthesia and Emergency Medicine, with a Masters in Major Incident Medicine and Management (University of Leuven/Louvain University, Belgium) and Belgian Army Medical Services, Wim moved back to the UK in 1998 as Consultant Anaesthetist and Senior Clinical Lecturer, firstly at Frenchay Hospital, later also at Southmead Hospital.


With his interest in trauma, acute medicine, and Major Incident management, Wim was national Expert-Advisor to Belgian Secretaries of State (Health and Home Office), with added responsibility for introducing NATO-guided emergency services dispatch and communications hard- and software in the emergency systems.


Wim Blancke contributed to the first 24/7 airport medical emergency service team in Europe (A 11million passengers + Air Freight hub).


He became the first Medical Director/Board member of the Avon Ambulance National Health Service Trust and represented the Royal College of Anaesthetists on the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC); responsible for all clinical guidance - the JRCALC Guidelines - for all UK ambulance crews, and authorities (incl. HM Coroners, the Military, BNF, SAR).


As JRCALC chairman (2009 – 2013), Wim Blancke re-structured JRCALC with the Association of Ambulances Chief Executives, and the international licencing of the JRCALC Guidelines.


He was international Examiner for the European Diploma in Anaesthesia and assisted with the first Advanced Life Support education programmes in several European countries.


Wim is a regional voluntary President of the British Red Cross, and BRC Trustee-trained.


He is President of the Anaesthesia Section of the Royal Society of Medicine and, convened the international RSM medico-legal conferences ‘When things go wrong’.


Wim’s medico-legal work covers professional Conduct, Competence, and Regulation of Medical and Paramedical practice and the organisation and co-ordination of health care systems, including Health and Safety. He has been an Expert-Witness for claimants and Assessor for Health Care boards.


View the programme here

Welcome and introduction

Dr Samantha Shinde, Immediate Past President, Anaesthesia Section, Royal Society of Medicine

Presidential address: Exploring the wood for the trees

Dr Wim Blancke, President, Anaesthesia Section, Royal Society of Medicine

Questions and answers
Close of meeting

Professor Roger Kirby, President, Royal Society of Medicine



Disclaimer: All views expressed in this webinar are of the speakers themselves and not of the RSM nor the speaker's organisations.

Special rates for difficult times 
The RSM wishes to offer healthcare professionals continued learning opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic. The RSM’s ​weekly COVID-19 Series ​webinars remain free of charge, while there will be small charges to register for other online education. These fees will enable the RSM to continue its programme of activities and will apply during the course of the pandemic.

Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar ink 2 hours before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted.

This webinar will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be  distributed  in future on various internet channels. 

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