Advancing paediatric surgery through education and research

Children’s Upper Gastrointestinal Surgical (ChUGS) Network

Welcome to ChUGS. We are a group of consultant paediatric surgeons within BAPS with a specialist interest in paediatric Upper GI surgery. We were established in 2019.


Mission statement:


To pursue the constant improvement in clinical care and long-term health outcomes of children and young people with Paediatric Complex Upper GI Conditions.



Complex upper GI surgery in the Paediatric population remains relatively rare and includes complex oesophageal atresia, caustic injuries, oesophageal replacement, foregut duplications and redo surgery for gastroesophageal reflux. As a result of the rarity of these conditions there is little high level evidence for the best treatment options for each condition and therefore practice varies across the country.


In order to optimise outcomes in complex cases it is important that clinical / surgical decisions involve a wide discussion between experienced surgeons with a subspecialised interest in the field – something not always possible in a single centre.


Improvements in care across the country may also be maximised with sharing experience of difficult cases and collaboration across subjects such as audit, bench marking outcomes and clinical research



ChUGS aims to establish a national collaborative network with the following objectives:

  1. To facilitate multi centre / multi professional discussion of rare paediatric complex upper GI (oesophagus to duodenum) surgical patients in order to optimise patient care through the combined experience and expertise of surgeons from across the UK.


  1. To facilitate cross centre learning from surgeons with an interest in paediatric complex upper GI surgery.


  1. To maximise collaboration between centres in areas such as combined operating, audit, bench marking and peer mentoring



  • Quarterly video conference discussion group – Zoom
    • Open invitation to all ChUGS members via mailing list
    • Cases submitted in advance to [email protected]
    • Meetings ‘hosted’ by different centres – allowing time for a local presentation of interesting cases / research / audit etc
    • Collaborative peer discussion of complex case
    • Audit / feedback on cases discussed – annually


Yearly Meeting

  • Timed around the Winter meeting
  • Half / full day of education / face to face discussion group / feedback from the preceding years discussion group
  • Facilitate collaborative research / audit / data collection


Ground Rules / Position Statement

  • ChUGS Complex case discussion group offers paediatric surgeons the opportunity to informally discuss difficult cases for the purpose of education and helping make informed decisions about complex patients care
  • The discussion group is not a formally recognised multidisciplinary team meeting and as such will not come to a specific unified decision about specific patients care but different clinicians will simply offer their opinion on the best course of action for the presented patient
  • Cases will be presented anonymously
  • No soliciting or referrals – quaternary referrals may be appropriate following discussion but this is not the purpose of the meeting and such referrals should be done separately
  • Informed consent – whilst patients will be presented anonymously it is good practice to gain parental / patient consent for cases to be submitted and discussed



Research / Audit

  • Collaborative research / audit performed through the group should be the intellectual property of the group and hence presented / published on behalf of the group as opposed to by specific authors




No additional fee to join ChUGS.

To join the group please send an email of interest to [email protected] and you can be added to the mailing list.

We are in the process of creating a membership ‘group’ via the BAPS website. Membership to this group would then allow you the chance to be actively involved in the direction of the group and vote on issues such as position statements etc.


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