The 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting was preceded by an Affiliate Training Day. The day was divided into four peri-operative workshops: pre-operative assessment and optimisation, an overview of HPB surgery, an overview of OG surgery and post-operative management. The Training Day was attended by a varied selection of ward nurses, dietitians, physiotherapists and clinical nurse specialists. Feedback from the day was extremely positive.
The main Affiliate Sessions took place the following day and it was great to see such a fantastic turnout. The focus this year was ERAS and involved a series of talks on the role and perspective of the physiotherapist, specialist nurse and dietitian and outlined the challenges and successes of implementing Enhanced Recovery Programmes of Care in Upper GI. These sessions clearly demonstrated that the success of ERAS in UGI is only possible if there is a well co-ordinated, multi-professional approach across the whole peri-operative spectrum.
Following on from this Professor Jane Blazeby presented on the need for more trials for patient benefit and improved patient experience thus marking a new era of multi-professional research. The final presentation of the day was from Dr Jervoise Andreyev on the practical management of the long term consequences following UGI resection. Dr Andreyev emphasised the vital role that CNSs and AHPs have in managing the patients post operatively and in particular once they have been discharged. The needs of this patient group are complex and the impact on quality of life following curative UGI resection is well documented. However, despite the recognition that regular post-operative follow up is necessary there remains a lack of consensus on the exact nature of the follow-up process.
A defined follow-up protocol combined with a systematic, evidence-based approach to symptom management would provide much needed guidance and role definition for Nurse Specialists and AHPs in the management of patients following curative UGI resection and could also lead to improved patient experience.
The 2015 Scientific Meeting will be combined with the Digestive Disease Foundation (DDF) and will be held at the ExCeL Centre, London. There will be dedicated AHP content as well as integrated sessions. Subject matter will be broad in order to cater for all but equally if there is a specific topic you would like addressed please contact me directly.
Particular thanks must go to Graham Pinn, Fiona Huddy and Claudia Rueb for helping to organise such a successful day and all the Faculty for their time and expertise.