Advancing paediatric surgery through education and research

Statement regarding COVID-19

Information for Paediatric Surgeons

16th March 2020

Dear Members and Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented the World with its greatest public health challenge this century. The British Association of Paediatric Surgeons wants to reassure its members that we are monitoring the situation closely on a daily basis. The following websites are updated regularly.

For UK Government COVID-19 guidance for healthcare professionals please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance#guidance-for-health-professionals

For those outside the UK please refer to the WHO website:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

There has been no shortage of broadcasts in the press, television and social media networks and as healthcare professionals we have to distil this information down to educate and reassure our patients and their families.

Current evidence suggests that children are less vulnerable to COVID-19 infection than the elderly. BAPS endorses the Joint Statement of the Chief Medical officers asking healthcare workers to prepare to work more flexibly;  we may be called on to reduce our elective work and to support colleagues in other specialty areas. Many of you will have already been asked by your hospitals to cancel attendance at meetings and conferences and to reduce all non-essential travel. Please follow advice provided by your local institutions.

At BAPS, we are similarly employing different ways of working. We already have an established virtual office and hold teleconferences regularly. We have postponed the New Consultant’s Study Day to Friday 25th September 2020.  We are still reviewing the situation for Congress 2020 which was due to be held in conjunction with the 2nd Biliary Atresia and Related Diseases Conference in Bruges, Belgium. The safety and welfare of our delegates is our priority. We know that many delegates would have to travel and will issue a statement regarding Congress shortly.

We would ask all BAPS Committee Chairs to suspend all face-to-face meetings until 30th April 2020, when we will review the situation. The BAPS administrative office can set up virtual meetings using GoTo Meeting. Please contact digital@baps.org.uk with your requests.

In these challenging times, it is an opportunity for us as an Association to look at different ways of working. We are exploring using webinars to share educational content and to interact with our members worldwide. We have a new members’ portal which we hope will encourage discussion via online forums. The BAPS IAC has made a donation to support InterSurgeon (www.intersurgeon.org), a web based platform to enable worldwide collaborations between surgeons.

The British Association of Paediatric Surgeons will continue to update members on the rapidly changing situation so please check back regularly for any change in advice. Please stay safe.

 

Yours sincerely,

Evelyn Ong

Honorary Secretary