Advancing paediatric surgery through education and research

BAPS Statement of Support for GIRFT National Report on Paediatric Surgery


The British Association of Paediatric Surgeons welcomes the publication of this report that contains much of significance and has the potential to improve the provision of care for children in the UK.

As a speciality we provide a very broad range of care, ranging from the highly complex to simple, performed by a variety of surgeons that includes specialist paediatric surgeons, general surgeons, plastic surgeons and urologists.

The NHS Long Term Plan published in January 2019 made a commitment to provide children and young people with access to high quality services as close to home as possible with networks ensuring a coordinated approach enabling access to specialised and non-specialised services.

BAPS fully supports the NHS Long Term Plan and will work with NHS England and GIRFT to deliver specialised and non-specialised services within the developing Operational Delivery Networks.

The provision of non-specialised services has seen a significant shift in the delivery of elective surgery into tertiary units, a trend we would wish to reverse, whilst preventing a similar trend in emergency services. To achieve this will necessitate careful workforce planning by the Operational Delivery Networks including BAPS, general surgeons, plastic surgeons and urologists.

Whilst the organisation of tertiary paediatric surgery has evolved without a co-ordinated national approach the proposal to create 3a and 3b units is radical. A networked model of specialised surgery co-ordinated by the Operational Delivery Networks concentrating expertise between units has many advantages maintaining skills and avoiding added expense providing additional beds, neonatal cots, staff and transport services.

Operational Delivery Networks can be effective by mandating the use of evidence-based measures in the management of Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) and improving the environment of care for children and young people undergoing surgery.

We support the requirement for participation in centrally funded and lead national surgical registries and would encourage the development of clinical outcome databases specifically for complex children’s surgery.

Finally we would welcome the participation of families and children with BAPS and would support their involvement with operational delivery networks.

We express our thanks to Simon Kenny and the GIRFT team for their dedication and hard work in producing this document.