The following information relates to recent events at the Blond McIndoe Research Foundation (BMRF).
As you may be aware, we have been navigating challenging times but we are pleased to inform you that our restructuring is now complete and we have exciting plans for the future.
But first, a brief overview of our situation and the steps we took to overcome it. Dating back some 15 years, a number of BMRF employees were members of the University Superannuation Pension scheme (USS). In June 2015, when the last remaining participant of the scheme retired it triggered a substantial debt. We sought professional advice on the viability of either reducing or deferring this debt but due to the rules of the membership-based scheme we had no option but to settle the debt with USS.
This difficult situation became the catalyst for a fundamental review of how best to go forward into the future. We explored many possibilities, including joining with larger academic, hospital or charity partners, whether by merger or acquisition. We also recognised that the landscape for medical research had changed significantly since the charity’s inception in 1961.
Having considered all options, we had no doubt that the best way to secure and maximise our impact over the next fifty years was to change our model by moving our scientific programmes to larger institutions and continuing as a grant-making body.
We are pleased to report that the entire research portfolio has now been relocated. The majority of the projects have been moved to Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research, an establishment with a long-standing association with BMRF. The melanoma work is continuing at Brighton and Sussex Medical School and the scar study at the Queen Victoria Hospital. All restricted funding associated with this work has been transferred to the host institutes, along with the appropriate scientific equipment and consumables. Supporting the continuation of these projects will be a priority for us going forward.
We are also delighted to confirm that the Royal College of Surgeons has agreed to become our corporate trustee, and will work with us in partnership to provide the infrastructure and guidance for our efforts over the coming years. Our strengthened position now allows us to move forward as a grant-making foundation, raising capital to fund research into projects that aim to transform the lives of people with life-changing and life-long burns and wounds.
We very much hope you will continue to support us in our quest to fulfill Sir Archibald McIndoe’s vision of advancing the science of healing and build on the legacy of 55 years of ground-breaking research.