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Pete Sagar

It is a great pleasure and a privilege to introduce myself as the President of ACPGBI from July 2021.

Firstly, may I take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Steve Brown for his excellent work in steering the ship of our specialist society through somewhat choppy waters over the past year and, despite the challenges and difficulties thrown up by the pandemic, continuing to focus and develop our core objectives:

  •  Provision of educational opportunities and facilities for our patients and our         members.
  •  Advise national bodies and societies with regard to current practices and policies.
  •  Support and direct research into both clinical practice and scientific studies to      advance knowledge in diseases of the colon, rectum and anus.

Secondly, with the rapidly escalating numbers of patients awaiting treatment, it is likely that our biggest challenge will be tackling this backlog. The pandemic has had a major impact on staff, both with illness caused by the pandemic and the redeployment of nursing staff within our major institutions,that has greatly affected our ability to deliver and manage theatre capacity. Although prioritisation of surgery has largely permitted the treatment of patients with cancer during the pandemic, the surgical management of benign cases has been severely curtailed. We need to recognise the impact this has had, and continues to have, on our patients, who are often at the younger end of the spectrum. While many such cases are labelled as “routine cases”, these are not routine problems. Patients remain desperate for their treatment and it is important that we deal with this backlog as soon as practically possible. While the numbers of Covid patients both in hospital and in the critical care facilities have reduced compared with peak levels and although we are now seeing increased surgical activity, there remains a perception that the level of activity is still well below pre-pandemic activity levels and, for the sake of our patients, we need to continue to strive to return to those pre-pandemic levels whilst supporting the well-being of our colleagues as we engage in this work.

Professor Mortensen, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, along with his Executive Officers, has been working to promote A New Deal for Surgery and we need to support the ideas and innovations contained within this report to achieve the long-term goals of ACPGBI in order to improve the health and outcomes of our patients.

It has long been a tradition of our Association to promote research and, as a result, ACPGBI has always had a strong and productive research role. Out of adversity comes opportunity and our members have already demonstrated left field and lateral thinking in tackling pandemic-related problems with a particular emphasis on alternative technology and investigations. Through our Research and Audit committee, this work will continue and allow the specialty to thrive.

Finally, Professor Brown is to be congratulated on the progress that he made with regard to creating an inclusive environment for all of our members, highlighting the fair and transparent processes that relate to the appointment of almost 150 of our members to various committees.  He has also encouraged the involvement of all members in our educational events. This work will continue with the realisation of an EDI committee in August 2021.

So, stay positive, stay hungry, stay healthy and here’s to us all meeting up once again in Edinburgh in July 2022!


Peter Sagar's signature



Peter Sagar
ACPGBI President 2021-22





Professor Peter Sagar, ACPGBI President