Summer Message 2024

To all our AUGIS members

As we look forward to the summer, AUGIS remains in a very healthy place from both a membership and financial perspective. I am really looking forward to both our Annual Scientific Meeting from the 11 – 13 September in Manchester and the Safe Cholecystectomy and Bile Duct Injury meeting in Leeds which will now be taking place on Thursday 3rd October 2024.

At the Safe Cholecystectomy and Bile Duct Injury meeting on the 3rd October we will confirm the Hospital Trust Leads for our Safe Cholecystectomy Education Group and we hope to have representation from every hospital at which cholecystectomies are performed. The meeting will see the launch of our National Bile Duct Injury Registry, which will include all cases where there has been a Strasberg grade B-E injury and at this stage grade A injuries have not been included at this stage.  This will allow us to quantify the number of these cases occurring across the UK, identify any patterns associated and give us data on the long-term effects of such injuries. In turn, this will allow our Safe Cholecystectomy Group to develop and introduce a series of online resources and face-to-face educational meetings, designed to address any identified issues and support surgeons involved in these cases.

The AUGIS Council Strategy Day took place at the end of May, where we discussed many aspects of AUGIS including the association’s 3-5 year plan. This included projects to enhance membership benefits and opportunities, how to refine and evolve our EDI programme,  the options to deliver our safe cholecystectomy programme, along with other educational objectives. The day was very productive with many agreed outputs and actions many of which we hope to see implemented in the next 6-12 months.  You can see your council members at work in our photos from the day at the end of this newsletter.

It is now only three months until we will be meeting in Manchester for our 27th Annual Scientific Meeting, and preparations are at an advanced stage for the social and educational components of the meeting. Arin Saha and the Education Committee are fine-tuning the academic programme and the content is looking superb and will include some fantastic national and international speakers. The format for this year’s meeting will be slightly different with the Allied Health Professionals and CNS’ Sessions taking place on Wednesday 11th  September. We hope this will be an opportunity for our AHP and CNS members to attend the sub-specialty sessions on the Thursday. There will be one plenary session on the Wednesday afternoon and there will be two parallel sessions on the Friday morning. For the first time we will have a BBUGSS plenary sessions on both the Wednesday afternoon and Friday mornings. There will be significant educational content from the OG Cancer group, Bariatric Group and the GBIHPBA, along with input from both the Endoscopy and Emergency groups throughout the meeting.

The conference will take place at Bridgewater Hall in the centre of Manchester and we are busy organising a great social programme, including drinks receptions on both the Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Our membership have been very clear in their preference to retain a virtual component to the meeting, and therefore, as we have done on the last three years, we will run a hybrid meeting in Manchester (further details to follow).

The AUGIS ASM is always a fantastic educational and social event, and I hope that most of our members who can attend in person, will do so. The success of our meetings depends entirely upon the participation of our members from the entire surgical team, so I would encourage you all to book your leave and come along to Bridgewater Hall.

We are keen to build on the recent positive changes within AUGIS over the last five years with the consolidation and strengthening of our specialty groups. We have our first President Elect (Andrew Smith from Leeds) who has been voted into post by the AUGIS membership following a constitutional change agreed at the ASM in Oxford. Samir Pathak and the EDI Committee have continued their work to help AUGIS evolve and create a diverse, equitable and naturally inclusive home for all those involved in Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery. The committee has been instrumental in setting up the AUGIS Mentoring Programme and will report on the early results and outcomes at the ASM in Manchester.

A major role of AUGIS is to ensure the highest standards of the surgery we offer our patients. This involves ensuring we collect accurate and comprehensive data about what we do and what our outcomes are. There are already have established audits and registries in OG cancer (NOGCA), bariatric surgery (NBSR), pancreatic cancer and hiatal surgery (NHSR), and we are delighted that our National Bile Duct Injury Registry will be added to this when we launch it later this year. By collecting accurate data, we can identify any areas where specific educational resources might need to be targeted.

Finally, I would like to extend my thanks to Sarvjit, Nichola and Hana in the AUGIS team, plus members of Council and our executive committee for all their hard work in facilitating the continued growth and development of AUGIS. We are always looking to increase our membership, and there are colleagues working in Upper GI Surgery teams who are not AUGIS members. Please encourage colleagues to join AUGIS, send them our weekly AUGIS What’s On email update, and bring them along to the Manchester meeting in September so they can see what a dynamic, forward-thinking association AUGIS is. Which only leaves me to wish you all a fantastic summer. I hope it proves to be one of social, academic and sporting success and that you all get chance to have some time for relaxation away from work in the next three months.

I look forward to seeing you in Manchester in September!

Best wishes 

Iain Cameron

AUGIS President