AUGIS Festive Message 2023

To all our AUGIS members

I hope you are all well as we approach the end of the year. It has been nearly three months since I took over from Nick Maynard as President and my first task is to thank Nick for all the hard work he has put in during his two year Presidency. We have had a fantastic year with several excellent meetings including the Roux Group Weekend which took place in March, the GBIHPBA joint meeting with the Indian HPB Chapter in April and our Annual Scientific Meeting in Oxford in September, which was fully booked! Along with our continually growing membership and new and ongoing corporate partnerships, these meetings have put the association in a strong financial position going forward. 

This year has seen a significant evolution of both AUGIS Council and the Executive. I would like to thank Shajahan Wahed, Naheed Farooq and Zahir Soonawalla for their contributions as Regional Representatives. I would also like to thank Stephen Fenwick for his efforts in his seven years as Treasurer and wish him all the best in his new role as president of GBIHPBA. I would also like to thank Cynthia Borg (South Thames), Nagappan Kumar (Wales) and Martin Wadley (West Midlands) for representing their respective regions over the last few years, and their roles are up for election now, so please do contact the AUGIS office if you are interested in representing your region. We now have four new regional representatives on council: Andy Cockbain (Yorkshire), Jihène El Kafsi (Oxford & Wessex), John Hammond (Northern) and Paul Turner (North West & Mersey) and I look forward to working with them over the next three years.

There are three new members on executive council: Nila Tewari (Honorary Secretary Elect), James Gossage (Honorary Treasurer) and Arin Saha (Education Lead) and they have already done a huge amount of working planning next year’s annual meeting. In 2024 we will have several vacancies for regional representatives and I would encourage all members in the regions to consider applying. In addition, we will begin recruiting for the new Liver, Pancreas and OG specialty research leads. Rob Jones, Keith Roberts and Prof Tim Underwood will initially mentor their respective post holders and we thank all three of them for their excellent work in establishing and growing the SSL roles with AUGIS. 

AUGIS launched its first ever Mentorship Programme and we would like to thank Samir Pathak, Alicja Psica and Nila Tewari for all their hard work in establishing this scheme for the benefit of our members, and please do get in touch with the AUGIS office if you have any questions about the programme. I am therefore very pleased to announce that Samir Pathak has now also taken on the role of EDI Lead on AUGIS Council.

As we approach 2024 we still face significant challenges in the NHS. However we will continue to focus on our single charitable aim of promoting education, training and best practice in all aspects of upper GI surgery. The national bile duct injury registry is about to be launched, with representatives from every centre keen to participate. This will in turn lead to the development of the safe cholecystectomy group within AUGIS, which will establish a series of regional meetings across the country. I would like to thank Shahid Farid for his work in the provisional planning of the safe cholecystectomy meetings, the first of which will be in Leeds in 2024.  We have a full academic timetable planned for next year which will include the Roux Group Weekend in March, AUGIS@ASGBI in May, a series of regional AUGIS meetings and our Annual Scientific Meeting in Manchester in September. 

Finally I would like to welcome Andrew Smith back onto the Executive Council as President Elect. Following the constitutional changes agreed at our AGM in September 2023, this was our first President Elect election which was open to all members to vote, and from which received a great turnout. Andrew transformed our educational offerings (including the annual meeting format and webinar programme) during his four years as Education Lead and I am sure will be a fantastic president. I would also like to recognise the contribution made by Martin Wadley who also stood for election. Martin has been the West Midlands regional representative for the last four years and leader of the bariatric surgical group for the last two years and it was fantastic to see the bariatric sessions in Oxford brimming with delegates.

Season’s Greetings and I wish you all the best for the New Year and hope you all manage some down-time over the festive period to spend with family and friends.

I look forward to seeing many of you in 2024.

Best wishes 

Iain Cameron

AUGIS President