Advancing paediatric surgery through education and research

President’s Christmas Letter

Dear Colleagues,

Richard Stewart
Richard Stewart

Unbelievably another year has flown by! As we prepare for Christmas and look forward to 2020 let me give you a quick summary of what BAPS has been doing on your behalf in the last 12 months.

January saw the publication of the NHS Long Term Plan which we successfully lobbied to include the creation of networks to ensure a coordinated approach to specialised and non-specialised surgical services in England. And in March NHS England included the implementation of PIC & Surgery Networks within their strategic priorities for 19/20 allocating an annual recurrent budget of £3.5 million.

In Scotland I promoted networking with presentations at the RCS Edinburgh and correspondence with NHS Scotland. Also working with the RQIA producing a review on the delivery of General Paediatric Surgery in Northern Ireland, published in December. Early next year I look forward to visiting Cardiff and supporting them in delivering their service in Wales.

In May I was pleased to represent BAPS at APSA and next month I attend GICS in Johannesburg as your representative. Our international affairs committee has also been active running training courses in Vietnam, Egypt and Uganda.

In the summer we had a very successful congress in Nottingham with over 360 delegates enjoying the sunshine on the beautiful university campus. Patients charities participated in the meeting for the first time and added a new dimension to the questions and answers in our discussions. Delegate feedback reported that 71% learnt something new to apply to their practice, 68.5% fulfilled their goals in attending congress and 79.5% would attend again, which is very encouraging. We even made a profit!

In Nottingham BAPS Council unanimously supported a future joint meeting with our colleagues in EUPSA and since then we have been in correspondence. Further details need to be agreed by both executives but in principle this will be held in London in 2024.

In July the Gen Surgery SAC responded to BAPS request to improve Paediatric surgical training creating the new module of “Gastrointestinal and General Surgery of Childhood”. This for the first time linking the General Surgery of Childhood with an area of adult practice that would give sufficient breath for a full consultant job plan and will go live in August 2020.

Currently NHS Improvements GIRFT review of Paediatric Surgery is about to be finalised and I have invited Simon Kenny to present this to BAPS at the Winter Meeting on 30th & 31st of January in Glasgow. Friday’s Programme will focus on ‘Collaborative Working in Paediatric Surgery’ and I very much hope you will attend, as I believe GIRFT will have a profound effect on how we provide our service.

This year BAPS has lost the towering figures of Professor Barry O’Donnell and Caroline Doig. We extend our deepest sympathy to their families and friends.

It has been an honour and privilege to serve as your President in 2019. I wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year and look forward meeting you in Bruges.

Richard Stewart

President of BAPS

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