About Conference

36th BACCN Annual and 2nd Virtual Conference 2021

“Critical Care Across the World: Breaking Down Barriers”

In early 2020, it was with great anticipation that we announced our first joint BACCN and IACCN conference that was due to take place in Belfast. However, as times continue to be uncertain and changes in restrictions being announced regularly, it has become increasingly difficult to see how we would be able to deliver the kind of conference we foresee for this joint venture in the next 10-12 months. Therefore, alongside our IACCN colleagues, we once again made the difficult decision to delay our joint BACCN/IACCN Conference until 2022, when we can do this justice with a full face-to-face conference without restrictions.

The international focus on Critical Care services have significantly increased because of COVID-19.  A significant proportion of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 required input and/or admission to Intensive Care which required an unprecedented action to increase capacity to cope with the influx of patients on top of an already busy system. Delivering sufficient critical care (throughout the whole patient and family journey) goes far beyond the physical infrastructure, such as beds and equipment – it ifirst and foremost requires a highly trained, skilled and experienced multidisciplinary workforce to deliver the individualised care we all believe each patient deserves.

I wanted to keep the original theme of “Critical Care Across the World: Breaking Down Barriers” as this exemplifies what Critical Care is as a speciality, but even more so, what Critical Care Nurses have done across the world over the last 12 months whilst being in the centre of this unprecedented global pandemic. We will continue not just to share our learning and experiences but celebrate our profession, not just for this year, but even more so for our joint venture with the IACCN in 2022 when we once again meet up in person in Belfast.

Back in September 2020, we were one of the first organisations to embrace the virtual world with a remarkably successful 35th conference. I want to once again give thanks to LINET, our main conference partner, alongside all our other corporate partners and industry sponsors that took that leap of faith with us and supported us in delivering our first virtual event. It was fantastic to see how many of you embraced the challenge to present the work you did remotely and like every year you made the conference the success it was.

Similarly, to us all learning every day about COVID-19 we as the BACCN Conference Team have learned from our first venture into the virtual world and with this in mind we bring you our 2nd BACCN Virtual Conference. I want to invite you to join me to share and learn together into what makes this the speciality we work in every day.  This is the perfect opportunity to submit an abstract for either an oral or poster presentation to form part of our virtual conference programme. 

Here is some highlight you can look forward to as part of the 36th annual conference:

Keynote Speakers
We are super excited that Dr Calvin Moorley (@CalvinMoorley); Katie Dutton and Peter Nydahl (@NydahlPeter) will be joining us across the two days. We’ll be catching up with them over the next couple of weeks to talk about their specific session for #BACCNConf2021.


Research Symposium (facilitated by Dr Suzanne Bench)
The year’s virtual conference provides an exciting opportunity for international research collaboration. In line with our theme ‘Critical Care across the world: breaking down barriers’, the research stream will focus on research being conducted outside of the UK; offering a chance for learning together how we can improve the health outcomes and experiences of our patients and their families, in relation to COVID and other critical care priorities.


BACCN and ASPiH Simulation Collaboration and Poster Competition (facilitated by Colette Laws-Chapman)
Further details coming soon!


Humanising Critical Care (facilitated by Kate Tantam)
Wilson et al (2019) stated that: “In the midst of trying to correct organ failures, clinicians may neglect to carefully consider what the patient is experiencing: to be on the brink of death, be unable to speak, be stripped naked, have strangers enter the room and simultaneously do things to their bodies without explanation, have tubes inserted into multiple orifices, have their arms restrained, hear a cacophony of disorienting bedside alarms whose meaning lies beyond them, and to be poked, and prodded—all while family is torn away. Compounding these facts, patients often have no memory or understanding of how they ended up in this horrifying situation. Patients and families must surrender all control…” As Critical Care Practitioners from across the spectrum we can only but imagine what this must be like for our patients and their loved ones. There has been an amazing amount of work done across the world with regards to humanising critical care over the last 2-3 years and we are making great strides in this. 

I’ve once again asked Kate Tantam (the #rehablegend herself) alongside Peter Nydahl to facilitate our Humanising Critical Care Conference stream. They will be including sessions on diaries, delirium, humanisation of ICU, Animal Assisted Therapy, ICU gardens, sleep and the wider and so vital involvement of the multi-disciplinary teams such as the Speech and Language Therapist, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapists and Dietitians.

We’ll also be looking at nurse led mobility, PTSD & psychology and long-term outcomes for ICU patients. Regardless of where you in the world you call home, if this is something you are passionate about why not submit an abstract and share the work you’re doing with the global critical care community. With this virtual conference we are truly hoping to bring us all together in our shared goal of truly humanising critical care for any future patients in our care.

(Reference: Wilson, M.E., Beesley, S., Grow, A. et al. Humanizing the intensive care unit. Crit Care 23, 32 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13054-019-2327-7)


New for 2021 - “Critical Care Course Poster” Competition
Every year, numerous critical care nurses produce excellent work, either in the form of poster or a written piece of work, exploring the art and science of Critical Care Nursing as part of the Critical Care course and we want to encourage you to come and share this with us. If you completed your course within the last academic year we would like to encourage you to submit a poster with regards to your work to be in with a chance to win an individual 1-year BACCN membership. I have asked both Ian Naldrett and Louise Stayt, Critical Care Course Lecturers, to judge this competition.


Best abstract competition
Once again, every abstract accepted to be presented at conference will be entered into the Best Abstract competition with the prize being a conference place to the 2022 conference.  The following aspects will be taken into account when judging this:

  • Relevance to Critical Care Nursing
  • Overall presentation
  • Referencing and literature utilised
  • Overall design and impact


In it to win it
Every year we have an “In it to win it” prize draw raffle for those who attend the closing session of conference. The lucky winner of the 2020 prize received a fantastic hamper of goodies put together by BACCN and many of our industry partners. 

Our 2021 virtual “In it to win it” conference prize will be a conference place to the 2022 conference in Belfast!! To qualify for this the winner needs to demonstrate that they were an active participant across all aspects of the 2021 event, including attending a number of sessions in full and visiting our virtual exhibition. The winner will be announced during the closing session of conference!!


We are very excited and proud to be able to launch the 2021 BACCN Conference and that despite all what is going on we can still find a glimmer of hope of better things to come.

Karin Gerber; BACCN Conference Director on behalf of the Conference Team