Reports from the Education, Training and Research Committee

January 2018

2017 was another busy year for AUGIS! In my summer report, we reflected on the excellent BOMMS meeting in January, quickly followed by the EGMLLS meeting in association with EHPBA and ILS in February and the fantastic turnout for the AUGIS sessions at the annual ASGBI conference in Glasgow in May.

In September we held our annual conference in Cork. This was one of our most successful conferences in terms of the educational programme, social activities, conference venue and great “Irish” hospitality. We were delighted to have a joint opening address from Professor Derek Alderson (President RCS England) and Professor John Hyland (President of RCS Ireland). It is good to know that irrespective of what happens with Brexit, the UK and Ireland surgical family is secure and the links between Societies and Colleges intact.

Following on from the extensive discussions that took place during the bile duct injury symposium at ASGBI Glasgow in May, we decided to have a debate on “this house believes that emergency laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the way forward in dealing with cholecystitis”. We were highly entertained by the two speakers, a past-President of AUGIS, Prof Graeme Poston, and Mr Barry Clements, my colleague from Belfast. Barry won the day despite a gallant effort on the part of Graeme.

Our two International speakers, Prof Richard Van Hillegersberg and Prof Marc Besselink gave superb presentations on minimally invasive procedures in their respective fields of expertise. Other highlights included the parallel sessions in which topics such as precision surgery (Tim Underwood), HCC management (Nigel Heaton), neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in pancreatic cancer (Ross Carter) and bariatric surgery – does it matter? (Jim Byrne). The final recommendations from the European Laparoscopic HPB Consensus meeting were presented by Prof Mo Abu-Hilal whilst Mr Colm O’Boyle highlighted current issues relating to bariatric surgery. All will agree that concluding the meeting with talks by ex-Lions, Ireland and Ulster rugby player Trevor Ringland and Aer Lingus pilot and past surgical registrar, Captain Niall Downey, was the perfect ending to a highly successful conference. It would be remiss of me at this stage not to thank Mr Adrian O’Sullivan (local organiser) and our own Sarvjit and Nichola for the vast amount of work they put in to ensuring that the meeting was successful.

The year also saw with the hugely popular IFSO 2017 Meeting which took place in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference in central London (29 Aug – 2 Sept) – attracting bariatric surgeons and specialists from around the globe as well as the UK. With its varied and comprehensive scientific programme and pre-congress courses, along with the historic location and co-operative late summer weather, IFSO 2017 was one of the most successful IFSO conferences yet. More about IFSO 2017 later on in this newsletter.

Looking to this year, BOMSS will be in Telford for its Annual Scientific Meeting from 25 – 26 January – find out more at: . The GBIHPBA will return to Chesford Grange Hotel, Leamington Spa from 15 – 16 March – find out more at: . AUGIS will contribute to the ASGBI Annual Conference in Liverpool from 9 – 11 May and the AUGIS annual conference will be held in Edinburgh from 19 to 21 September. This conference will run into a very special event (22nd September) in which past Edinburgh OG and HPB Fellows from all over the world will gather to recognise the massive contribution to surgery made by Mr Simon Paterson-Brown and Prof James Garden. Such an international gathering will greatly enhance the educational programme of the AUGIS conference.

I would like to bring you up to date about the research lead post I mentioned in the summer newsletter. There have been extensive discussions in Council about the role, requirements and links for such a position. We are extremely keen to maintain our link with the Royal College of Surgeons of England. We have also explored the possible collaboration with various charities akin to our specialist interests. Once such discussions have completed we will be writing to all members again. Can I thank the four members who have already expressed an interest in the post. We envisage a research lead for each of the sub-specialities represented within the family of AUGIS.

Mr Mark Taylor
Education and Training & Research Lead

June 2017

It has been a very busy time for AUGIS since my last report. In February (10-11) AUGIS, in association with EHPBA and ILS, held the very successful European Guidelines Meeting on Laparoscopic Liver Surgery in Southampton. An enormous amount of preparation went into this meeting with experts from throughout the world attending. Particular thanks must go to Mr Mo Abu-Hilal, the local organising team and our very own Sarvjit, Nichola and Helen. We very much look forward to the published ‘guidelines’. Mr Abu-Hilal has kindly agreed to present the findings at the Annual AUGIS Conference in Cork.

In May, AUGIS played a major role in the ASGBI Safer Surgery Conference in Glasgow. Update lectures on colorectal liver disease and oesophageal cancer were given by Mr Steve Fenwick and Mr Richard Hardwick. There was valuable discussion around both lectures. There was a packed room for the Bile duct injury Symposium in which Mr Tom Diamond, Prof Graeme Poston and myself presented on topics ranging from safe lap cholecystectomy, pitfalls of lap chole surgery, medicolegal aspects and types of biliary injury. The question and answer session at the end was excellent.

There was a call from our General Surgical colleagues for AUGIS to publish and run a workshop on the subject of emergency acute cholecystectomy. We intend to follow through on this and will start by having a ‘debate’ at AUGIS, Cork. It is very clear that this association has a major role in teaching and support for all surgeons working in district general hospitals and as such a link with ASGBI should continue.

In January, the 8th BOMSS Annual Scientific Meeting which took place at the Alton Towers Conference Hotel, was once again a great success attracting near on 300 delegates which included more than 100 Allied Health Professionals. Speakers included the current IFSO President, Dr Kelvin Higa and other overseas speakers including Dr Bruno Dillemans.

Work is well under way for the annual AUGIS conference from 21-22 September. This will be a fantastic event and I would encourage everyone to register.

We are delighted that Prof Richard Van Hillegersberg and Mr Marc Besselink will be joining us for the conference as the BJS Speaker. The Gala dinner will be held in the Old Cork Women’s Jail which is a fabulous place to visit.

Finally following discussion at AUGIS Council we will be sending out a job description for a lead for research within the Association. Secondly I would be very keen to explore expanding the local meetings under the auspices of AUGIS. A recent survey has been sent to you from your regional AUGIS Council member and this will be valuable for future direction.

Can I wish everyone a happy holiday and look forward to seeing you in Cork.

Mr Mark Taylor
Education and Training & Research Lead

January 2017
First of all I would like to pay tribute to the extremely hard work that my predecessor Professor Giles Toogood has carried out over the last four years. These are extremely big shoes to fill, but I hope to continue the success of education and training within AUGIS. In an era of uncertainty with regard to industry support and time constraints it is important that we ensure that our conferences deliver robust, innovative and topical programmes and continue to develop the essential relationship within industry. The Dragon’s Den has proven to be an example of such innovation.

Over the next four years I will look at further changes to education and training, adopting the multidisciplinary approach to upper gastrointestinal surgery.

I am delighted to announce the European Guidelines Meeting on Laparoscopic Liver Surgery, which will be a partnership of AUGIS, GBIHPBA and the E-AHPBA, under the local guidance of Mr Mohammad Abu Hilal. I would like encourage all HPB Surgeons and Trainees (whether with an interest in laparoscopic surgery or not) to attend this essential consensus meeting. It is important that all surgeons have the opportunity to express their views so that a concise guidelines document can be produced to identify the future role of laparoscopic surgery in the Hepato Bilary specialty. You can find out more about the meeting by visiting

I look forward to another successful BOMSS ASM at Alton Tower (26 – 27 January) and you can register for the meeting at

We are currently planning the educational programme for AUGIS 2017 in Cork. We are delighted to have Professor Richard van Hillegersberg from the Netherlands as our BJS Speaker. I can assure all members of AUGIS that we will have a programme which will cover every aspect of the interest of our membership. The local organiser Mr Adrian O’Sullivan has, along with Nichola Bartlett and Sarvjit Wunsch, put together an exciting social programme as well.

Finally, over the last couple of years it has become obvious that continuing to encourage and support research is critical for this organisation. Professor Jane Blazeby has done an outstanding job as Upper GI Research Lead. However unfortunately, due to an extremely busy schedule Professor Blazeby will not be renewing her tender in for the position next year. We will be releasing a job description in the near future for the position of Upper GI Research Lead, which will fall under the remit of the Education, Training & Research Lead. I would encourage all members who are actively involved in research with their respective universities to consider this extremely important role within the association.

Mr Mark Taylor
Chair, Education and Training Committee