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British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

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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