The BLA welcomed Guri Sandhu as incoming President from 1 May 2021. Guri Sandhu is a founding member of the BLA and current President of the Laryngology & Rhinology section at the RSM. He is a Consultant Otolaryngologist and Head & Neck Surgeon at Imperial College and The Royal Brompton Hospitals in London and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College and University College London. He is a pioneering laryngologist with a special interest in laryngotracheal stenosis. In 2016 he received the Isshiki award for his outstanding contribution to laryngology. 

Mr Guri Sandhu, BLA President 2021-2023.

Mr Sandhu said of his upcoming presidency: 
“It is a great honour for me to be elected President of the British Laryngological Association and I hope to continue the great work of my predecessors. It has been my career ambition to raise the profile of Laryngology within British Otorhinolaryngology, to improve the standard of care we provide to our patients. This will be achieved through education, training and research; the mission statements of the BLA.”

Mr Sandhu succeeds incumbent President, Mr Mark Watson. Mr Watson has worked in Doncaster and Bassetlaw since 1992 where he has held a number of leadership posts. He has served as a regional and national representative and lead for many regional and national ENT and head and neck groups and committees. Mr Watson has helped to pioneer innovative and cutting-edge treatments throughout his career, leading to more widespread use of modern surgical techniques across the country.

Mr Mark Watson, BLA Immediate Past President 2019-2021.

Under his leadership, the BLA has fostered innovation and connectivity, with the launch of the BLA Connect app for the 2019 conference which has evolved into a free resource and the podcast, BLA Connections: A Clear Voice. Perhaps most notably, Mr Watson has steered the association through the COVID-19 pandemic, taking the lead in producing guidelines for its members, in particular the ‘2020 BLA Tracheostomy Guideline’, updated for the second wave of COVID-19 in Nov 2020. Mr Watson said of his time as BLA President:

“The last two years have included the COVID-19 pandemic, which represented perhaps the biggest challenge to our health services since World War 2. Laryngologists were at particular risk early in the emergency, until it was recognised that it was necessary for us to use stringent PPE precautions for all of our work, both in the clinic and operative procedures, as everything we do involves aerosol-generating procedures. From a standing start, we had to produce guidance for members, and work alongside sister organisations in order to safeguard both ourselves and the services we offer to patients. Now that the epidemic is stabilising in the UK, we need to plan carefully for the gradual restoration of services in a safe manner. Hopefully in the not-too-distant future we can return to providing a full range of elective services to patients with voice, swallowing and airway problems. Although the BLA has worked hard to keep the academic side of life going through podcasts and virtual meetings, I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to the next face-to-face conference organised by the BLA, where we can meet each other and have a chat over a cup of coffee!"

You can listen to the full conversation with the BLA Presidents in the episode of BLA Connections: A Clear Voice here. 

The British Laryngological Association (BLA) is a membership society that aims to achieve advancement in laryngology for the benefit of the public through research, education and training. The BLA is allied to ENT-UK, the professional association for British Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons, and other related professionals.

For further information and membership enquiries, please contact: