Advancing paediatric surgery through education and research

History of BAPS

The British Association of Paediatric Surgeons (BAPS) was established in 1953, endeavouring to raise standards in paediatric surgery.  As D Innes Williams pointed out at the time of the 50th Anniversary (writing in the JPS) Paediatric Surgeons had been appointed to children’s hospitals since the 1850s, but it was not until 1953 that there were, in Britain at least, enough specialist paediatric surgeons to form an association.   Prior to the emergence of the NHS, paediatric surgeons in children’s hospitals had been dependent on charity, with their positions as honorary only, and an income that had to be derived from private practice.  All this changed with the birth of the NHS, and the defining of a new specialty.  Surgeons could now turn their gaze to the congenital abnormalities, conditions which needed a dedicated service to correct.  Developments in antibiotics and anaesthesia heralded a new era for the management of premature and sick infants and the operative interventions that could be carried out.

Founding members:

Denis Browne, Great Ormond street in London

Valentine Swain, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hackney.

JJ Mason Browne, RHSC, Glasgow

Wallace Denison, RHSC, Glasgow

Isabella Forshall, Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool

Peter Paul Rickham, Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool

Robert Zachary, Sheffield

Ambrose Jolleys, Manchester

John Scott, Newcastle

David Waterston

In November 1953 the first official meeting was held, at which Denis Browne took the chair and an executive committee was formed of 4 members with the secretary being David Waterston, Treasurer, Peter Paul Rickham, and JJ Mason Brown and Harold Nixon.

The inaugural ‘conference’ was held in London at Great Ormond Street on June 30, 1954 and was attended by 110 delegates.

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