COVID 19 Grid Trainees – Update from CSAC 26th April 2020

I hope everyone is staying safe and keeping well during these unprecedented times when we are all having to think, work and function in very different ways – very stressful and very tiring, including the challenge of trying to practice Paediatric Gastroenterology with only limited access to endoscopy.

I wanted to update you with regard to training and our trainees many of whom have effectively had their training suspended partly because of the need to cross cover other areas but also as a consequence of the secondary impact of the endemic on our specialty.

I have been in touch with them regularly.

There are a number of issues which are general to all trainees and some specific to our specialty. These include uncertainty regarding training, progression, assessments and rotations.

David Evans has done a helpful update – see link  appended which is being regularly updated

There will be a modified ARCP process and we are awaiting the specifics and timeline and will facilitate CSAC progression forms once that is clear. The modified process will mean that the impact of COVID on training can be factored in.  The trainees will be concerned about clinical exposure, team meetings and endoscopy. There will be particular anxieties about exposure and training in endoscopy  with most services on hold at the moment, uncertainty about when they will resume and there being a likely need for significant catch up when that occurs.

We have had to cancel the face to face trainees meeting in May but have set up a virtual meeting and the potential for 1 to 1 discussions via Microsoft teams – I guess we are all getting used to this new way of working.

In the meantime – if possible – please continue to meet with your trainees regularly and facilitate training a much as possible so they we can offer them as much support as we can.  

All the best

Stay safe and keep well

Professor RM Beattie
Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist
Honorary Professor of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Chair of the Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health (RCPCH) College Specialty Advisory Committee (CSAC) for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition e- mail

President Update 23 April 2020- 1. NICE Guidance gastro and liver conditions 2. CCUK Decision tree for children 3. Vulnerable children guidance 4. Zoom teaching for trainees

Dear members,

I hope this message finds you well. BSPGHAN has been working with key stakeholders on rapid guidance. Please have a look at the following links- 

1. COVID-19 rapid guideline on gastrointestinal and liver conditions

2. CCUK decision tree for children- isolation/ social distancing and shieldingApplicability of “shielding” is complex for children as the evidence for risk of serious illness / mortality from Covid-19 amongst children who are immune suppressed is very limited. This decision tree for families is welcome.

If you’d like to share via social media there is also a short link
See also RCPCH Shielding list .

3. Vulnerable children guidance

There are unintended consequence of lockdown on some vulnerable families (i.e. those known to CAMHS, social services and those with education, health and care plans.) see PHE Vulnerable children guidance. Bspghan is linking up with the Rcpch and the children’s team at NHS England to consider which groups should continue shielding once the lockdown restrictions are lifted. 

4. Zoom teaching for Bspghan member trainees

I am grateful to our webmaster who has arranged weekly national teaching. The session yesterday was a success with 40 participants. There is uncertainty over training opportunities, progression, rotations, CCT and access to training. PGHAN Csac is actively linking up and supporting trainees. 

5. Strategy 

BSPGHAN has set out a new strategic focus while some initiatives are paused. We continue to contribute to national guidance to keep our patients and colleagues well and as safe as possible. Thinking ahead, we are tackling how best we will support recovery of services, training needs and ensure that children’s best interests are considered when lockdown restrictions start to ease. 

If you wish to highlight issues or signpost to resources, please do get in touch. Please have a look at the website, which is currently being reorganised so that you can find information more easily. Personal thanks to Carla and Kwang Yang Lee our administrator and webmaster for their expertise and to Council for coming together today for an extraordinary meeting. 

With very best wishes 


BSPGHAN President

23 April 2020

President Update:  Sunday 19th April 2020   1. BSPGHAN IBD WG Position statement 2. BSG IBD Covid WG Guidance 3. RCPCH Guidance on shielding 4. Non Covid publication

President Update: Sunday 19th April 2020 1. BSPGHAN IBD WG Position statement 2. BSG IBD Covid WG Guidance 3. RCPCH Guidance on shielding 4. Non Covid publication

Dear Members

“For all those people who are finding it difficult at the moment: the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.”

Captain Tom Moore has to date raised more than £25m for NHS Charities Together His words have embodied the outpouring of gratitude for Britain’s doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers on the front line.

Captain Tom got it right. He focused on the sacrifices made by health service workers and the efforts of everyone, who has been isolating since March 23. “You’ve all got to remember that we will get through it in the end, it will all be right, it might take time,” “At the end of the day we shall all be ok again.”​

We are humbled by his efforts and appreciation of the amazing work that frontline professionals are maintaining despite extraordinary pressures. The NHS has moved quickly and effectively to convert conference centres into Nightingale Hospitals. Professionals need the protection equipment to make them feel safe. Please make best use of supplies so that those working in high risk sectors are not short of adequate PPE and exposed to risk.

BSPGHAN has engaged with key organisations this week, NICE, RCPCH, BSG as well as our charitable partners. I will signpost you when the Covid-19 NICE Rapid guidance is published on Gastrointestinal and Liver conditions this week and guidance regarding Children who are immunosuppressed shortly after.

Please remind yourself below of the –

1.Bspghan IBD WG advice, and see new guidance that BSPGHAN has contributed towards from-

  1. The BSG,
  2. The RCPCH and
  3. A great non Covid article of importance to the well being of our patients


  1. See considerations for use of PPE, and

Most excitingly,

  1. Trainees please note. Exciting plans to support national teaching by Zoom for BSPGHAN trainee members from trainers, starting off this week live from Birmingham. A national virtual meeting of interest to members may follow.

British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (BSPGHAN) Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and COVID-19 in children with IBD

Position Statement: Management of PIBD during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic​ IBD Working Group


The British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) COVID-19 IBD Working Group has published service provision, medical and surgical therapy, endoscopy, imaging and clinical trials.​​ The best available data and expert opinion has generated a risk grid for adults that groups patients into highest, moderate and lowest risk categories.


BSPGHAN has contributed towards the new RCPCH guidance.

It is also important to recognise that during this current pandemic, children who are unwell remain more likely to be unwell due to a non-COVID-19 condition than to COVID-19 itself; this includes those with the conditions described in this guidance. However, some children may remain more at risk of COVID-19 related disease, and these children should be protected as far as is possible from infection by ‘shielding’.


It is good to see an important publication from one of our trainee with the Oxford team entitled “hypoglycaemia: a hidden risk in paediatric colonoscopy,” and this sounds an important topic to audit when electives lists are back up and running.


You will have seen in reports there is now a real concern at national level regarding the shortage of PPE gowns. Yesterday (Friday 17 April), Public Health England issued emergency advice on the use of gowns in clinical areas should shortages arise. It is important to emphasise that everyone should organise care to make best use of stock. The safety of teams is our priority and access to the appropriate PPE.

Stay safe, and if you have news from your region or updates or guidance to share, please get in touch.

Best wishes
BSPGHAN President April 18th 2020

President Easter Message to BSPGHAN members

President Easter Message to BSPGHAN members

Dear all

I  hope this finds you all well and spending time to rest and restore your batteries over the long weekend. 

The anticipation of working in different ways and the pressure of making new judgements for patient care has been stressful. 

The calmness of the NHS and other frontline carers and their leaders has been remarkable in the face of constant change and education. Their anxiety about risks, protecting themselves and their loved ones at home is real. We hope that increasing knowledge of the virus, on keeping a safe distance and being as well protected as possible, gives them some of the peace of mind that they need.   

It is truly touching to see the tributes for key workers and the acknowledgement of the vital roles that all workers play. 

Keep cascading the message to parents that we are open for “business as usual” as per the RCPCH recent campaign (see link) and keep good records of those who need to be seen later on.

I am personally grateful to all the Bspghan members who have been so supportive and working hard to contribute to national initiatives and to make new guidance rapidly. A few examples are – 

  • Messages we sent to  NHS leaders and RCPCH that we are worried about routine areas of care for children have been heard and received by government. 
  • We have helped the NHS identify and reach out to our most vulnerable patients.
  • We have written tailored guidance for families and and IBD registry 
  • We have contributed towards rapid NICE guidance. 
  • We have suggested key conditions and timelines for recovery plans when routine services start opening. 
  • We have collaborated with stakeholders and charitable partners such as the BSG, BASL, CICRA,CCUK and CLDF who have have been supportive at achieving a common goal to advise, support and protect our families and staff.  

The qualities that health professionals signed up to – sacrifice, patience, and tolerance have always been present but are clear in the acts of kindness and putting others first. Please give a particular thought to all ward based staff this weekend who are now “masked up” all day. My masked working this weekend has been in short bursts and uncomfortably hot. The ward nurses no doubt feel the same all day, but without complaint and they deserve a huge thanks. 

This crisis has shown us that we can collaborate rapidly and work together, adapt, and break out of the silos that have existed in the NHS. Please also say a thanks to the IT crowds who have worked hard to bring in remote working and conferencing overnight. 

Our thoughts go out to new staff as young medics have been hastily graduated and the retired staff who have returned. Our prayers are with them to stay strong and safe as their offers to support the NHS are not just token efforts. 

We don’t know when this will be over. We hope that Covid testing and a vaccine will bring about change. The knocks and impact on sections of society will be enormous.  Keep the connections and interactions  going. Resolutions to be mindful of the legacies are not self righteous (in my mind); if we can maintain the current emphasis on social and cultural values, and the ability to learn and respond to change when the pressures is on us, things will be different and a bit better.​

Reach out to those in your networks and beyond who may be in smaller teams. Again, a personal thanks to the friends who have helped me each in keeping you informed and connected. They are all leaders and I am enormously grateful. 

Do get in touch if you have ideas, suggestions to share with others, or if you just need a chat. 

Best wishes 

BSPGHAN President April 12th 2020


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