Message from ACPGBI’s President – Steven Brown

I am delighted to introduce myself as the President of our society from July 2020.  We are a society that seeks to advance the care of patients with bowel problems and to ensure we promote best clinical practice.  In order to do this we focus on 4 essential objectives:

Message from ACPGBI’s President – Steven Brown
  • Educational opportunities for both patients and members
  • Helping to shape current practice and policy
  • Delivery of information and advice in a user friendly and easily accessible format
  • Study and research into existing and new areas of clinical and scientific practice

Whilst these core objectives will always define our Association I take on the mantle of directing their delivery in difficult times. The past few months have been a frightening time for us all.   However, nurses and doctors from all specialties including our own have stepped up and have been responsive and even creative. There has been a sense of focus and even energy.  We are now moving into the recovery phase and there is a danger of disillusionment and loss of purpose.  I see it as important that the Association provides support to help all of its members to move beyond this phase and restore our expectations and goals.

We may all have to continue with a different way of working for at least the foreseeable future and some things may never be the same.  But I see some changes as an opportunity to enhance delivery of our Association’s underlying aims and objectives. For instance the rapid uptake of virtual technology is not only beneficial to patient consultation, the easier communication will allow the recent expansion of our committee and subcommittee structure to be able to work more efficiently.

It is a pleasure to see around 150 of our members involved within these various committees and I look forward to the output they will inevitably produce. Digital technology also allows us to reach out and connect to our members more easily be it through access to our Council and Executive, Educational Webinars, or even a modern sleek website and we will focus on these areas. Running face to face conferences will be a challenge but the Edinburgh Fringe 2020 has shown that it can be done virtually very successfully if necessary.  Of course a virtual meeting will never replace the benefits of meeting colleagues in real life and I hope this element can be restored soon.

Lastly the Association has always had a strong research pedigree.  We are in a good position to rise to the challenge of the new norm and perhaps explore alternative ways of studying clinical practice.

There are some other guiding principles that will flow through the activities of the next year and beyond.  These include:

  • The need for equality, diversity and inclusivity for all members with a fair and transparent process for all that we do.
  • A reinforcement of our relationships with other National and International bodies
  • Above all an approach that puts the patient first.

I would encourage all members to get involved with what we are hoping to achieve and contact me with any ideas you may have or to simply put me on the spot.

Steven Brown
ACPGBI President 2020-21