Dear Members - Since my last message, the summer holidays have been and gone and we are all now hard at it back at work. I do hope it has been a restful and enjoyable break for you and your families and that you return with renewed energy to face the demands of our professional roles.
I am pleased to report exciting developments on a new ACPGBI-badged series of regional TaTME courses. TaTME has generated enormous interest in the colorectal community in recent months. ACPGBI wishes to see a safe introduction of this technique into the UK. Our courses will therefore enter patients into randomised controlled trials to ensure the scientific rigour required to endorse this technique fully as of benefit to our patients. Complications, oncological outcomes and PROMS data will be central parameters for the assessment of this technique. Details to follow.
We welcome, Nick Markham to the Executive representing the ASGBI. ACPGBI will be represented by Tim Cook (Assistant Treasurer) on their Executive Council. I am delighted to announce the election of Gina Brown and Harpreet Wasan to Council representing Radiology and Oncology. Their enormous wealth of experience and international eminence will surely serve the Society well in future years.
Our relationship with the Duke’s Club continues to flourish and its close collaboration with our trainees. We are drawing up a business case that will enable The Duke’s Club to become an integral part of our family, whilst maintaining their functionality and independence in terms of their strategic aims.
Work continues on the new website. It is hoped that the revised webpages will be to members’ liking (even the colour!!), with increased functionality. We hope for more interaction between Members, Council and Executive. A new feature of talking heads will put names to faces and inform our visitors about the Society and the Annual meeting.
The Tripartite meeting in Seattle in (June 10 – 14th 2017) is now firmly in our sights and you will have received flyers concerning educational and prize opportunities. I hope that as many Members as possible can make plans to support this meeting. In addition, the ACPGBI session at ASGBI in May (3rd-5th) 2017 is in advanced stages of planning.
A word about the extremely important SPECC programme, which I attended recently in Basingstoke. Brendan Moran and his team’s enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment to this programme are extraordinary. Please ensure your MDT’s attend over the forthcoming months. It is very regrettable that this course is unfunded nationally or by industry. I am hoping Executive and Council might be able to redress this balance.
If you haven’t already, please download the Colorectal Disease App. It’s excellent! A number of Members have expressed interest in being technical editors for Colorectal Disease and final announcements will be made in due course.
The new Shadow Trustee Board is due to have it’s first meeting on September 26th. This group will enhance the governance of the ACPGBI and by next year will be fully established with a new Chairman and Board, which the Executive will report to on a regular basis.
It cannot but have escaped your notice that we are in the middle of a crisis with the threat of further Industrial action by Junior Doctors. Many column inches have been devoted to this subject and many opinions abound. ACPGBI as an established Charity is constrained in its remit for political debate but we cannot ignore this issue. One of our core values is to improve all aspects of care of patients with colorectal disease by education, training, research, clinical standards and services; it is inevitable that certain elements of this vision maybe compromised unless a deal is reached between the Government and the Junior Doctors as soon as possible.
ACPGBI recognises the frustration and alienation of its members in training and fully endorses the Dukes’ Club’s support for all trainees during this process and the individual decision that trainees are facing during this difficult time. The Dukes’ Club supports resolution to this dispute and continues to promote training and maintaining safe patient care. The next few months will be challenging for all our Members. The Executive and Council would welcome your views, challenges and solutions that may be helpful to disseminate to our membership. Please e-mail me at president@ACPGBI.org.uk.
Whilst on difficult subjects, there has been interest and concern relating to recent reports of civil claims, GMC referral and custodial sentences for doctors. Is the suggestion that surgeons are more prone to conviction ill founded? ACPGBI recognises the need for members to be aware of safeguards to prevent them falling foul of the law with such consequences. There will be a Plenary session at our Bournemouth Annual Meeting exploring this subject. If you wish to contribute to this debate please e-mail me at president@ACPGBI.org.uk.
Speaking of Bournemouth there are now sessions planned on colorectal surgery in the obese patient, a new advanced malignancy MDT forum, IBD reconstruction and perioperative stimulation of the brain – to name but a few!! I am delighted to confirm one of our Keynote speakers will be David Nott OBE on his surgical experiences in war torn countries. Please keep the date in your diary – 3-5 July 2017. You can find a link here: https://www.acpgbi.org.uk/news/announcements/2017-annual-meeting/
I do hope that the Autumn season will be productive for you all. I will continue to report on the deliberations of Council and Executive, forthcoming meetings and other items of interest. These, in addition to our regular newsletter will I hope keep you informed.
I do hope to meet many of you over the coming months as I continue to pursue my busy agenda for the Society and would welcome all enquiries.
With best wishes
Peter Dawson, President ACPGBI