Looking forward to the pioneering world of Sexual Health with FSRH Virtual 2021

Posted 14 Oct 2021

Date: 14 Oct 2021

Author: Polly Zipperlen

Polly Zipperlen, Sexual Health Nurse and FSRH Events Committee member (reluctantly) extols the virtues of On-Line Conferencing

Moving to online conferences

There is nothing quite like the excitement and buzz of a conference; a refreshing time of reflection and renewal away from busy work and home schedules, surrounded by specialist pioneers in sexual and reproductive healthcare.

My first FSRH conference was the 2019 ASM in Edinburgh which offered the perfect balance of escapism from the daily grind and immersion in the FSRH’s core of clinical excellence (the CEU being based in Edinburgh), not to mention the added decadence of a plane trip and two nights in a fabulous hotel.

One can thus imagine the ‘icy’ contrast I felt approaching FSRH Virtual 2020 last November, which I navigated from my kitchen table, amid a backdrop of home-schooling, covid tests and redeployment. Whoa…how I was proven wrong!

FSRH Virtual 2020

Last year’s condensed Conference focused on diversity whilst showcasing Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare’s resilience amid adversity amongst a celebration of Nurses and Midwives in recognition of 2020 being the WHO International year of the Nurse and Midwife.

FSRH Virtual 2020 was suffused with ‘possibility’ and engendered a vibrant spring among both the grass-roots speakers and policy-makers alike. Particularly memorable are social influencer Rianna Raymond-Williams, who explored health inequity and engagement with Black and Minoritised communities in Sexual Health. Also Edward Morris, President of RCOG, who echoed Rianna’s urgency for engaging with marginalised populations, but warned about on-going digital inequity as a real temper to progress.

‘Improved learning and networking opportunities’

An unexpected highlight for me from last year’s event was improved learning and networking opportunities, which although lacked the social ease of face-to-face conferencing, in reality furnished attendees with sharpened take-home (or in my case at-home) messages.

Access to conference content both in real time and beyond means that the inevitable concentration-lapses can be rectified by re-watching presentations. (Note to self - more caffeine required this year!).

Likewise, much easier to connect with a speaker on-line during live-streaming, than to seek them out among the crowds at lunch, or deliberate on the ethics of interrupting their loo-break. On-line networking resolves all these inner-wrangles, providing the contact information and timely approach of speakers and attendees alike.

FSRH virtual 2021

From ‘diversity’ to ‘inclusivity’ FSRH’s Virtual 2021 - Inclusive Healthcare offers a natural extension of last year’s celebration of diversity in SRH by channelling the sense of ‘possibility’ that effervesced from the restrictions imposed by Covid-19.

As a person of ‘action’, I am looking forward to sessions on how to engage with vulnerable and marginalised populations, such as Sex Workers and sufferers of Survival Sex and Sexual Exploitation. Practical tips on how to optimise Sexual Health for women both on and over the ‘edge’ are essential if we are to extend a lifeline of hope to those at the extreme margins of society.

Another hot-topic planned for “FSRH’s Virtual 2021 - Inclusive Healthcare” is Environment and Sustainability and SRH’s share in the common responsibility tackling the climate crisis.

This year’s event on 17th November arrives hot on the heels of the UN Climate Change Conference – COP 26  at which the wealthiest 26 nations will explore a collective effort to honour the Paris Agreement’s pledge to limit global temperature rise to below 2°C. Arguably, the time has come for SRH to engage with climate change in real terms and as such, the virtual platform offers a simple yet highly effective effort.

As much as I loved the glitz and glamour of the Edinburgh conference in 2019, the carbon cost of the travel alone is undoubtedly unsustainable.

Final thoughts

To my mind, FSRH’s Virtual 2021 - Inclusive Healthcare” promises to deliver a concentrated package of knowledge; a telescopic examination of SRH innovation and practice focusing on inclusivity and sustainability. I for one, can’t wait.

More about the conference

FSRH Virtual 2021 – Inclusive Healthcare, is taking place on 17 November with tickets available to be purchased now.

Some of the topics we will be covering include the latest FSRH clinical developments, ovarian cancer, cervical screening, sexual exploitation, climate change and SRH,  PCOS and service design provision and quality.

Our dedicated virtual platform ensures you get the most from the conference. Watch the talks that are of interest to you, participate in live Q&A sessions, visit our virtual poster competition and network with your peers.

With so much content to choose from and parallel sessions, all of the talks will be available to watch again for one month so you can re-watch your favourite talks or catch-up on the ones you’ve missed. 

All participants will also receive a certificate of attendance which will count towards CPD.

Book your ticket today.