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British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Dear Members

I hope that since my last bulletin, on 28th July, you have remained safe and well and have had time to rest.  

Covid -19 has been the focus of bulletins this year, the pandemic having dominated all aspects of life – home, work, school, and healthcare.

We couldn’t foresee that in March, COVID would continue to be with us for so much longer than we thought.

Life has been busy with many challenges,  but also with opportunities to reset the way we work.

I trust that you have all been getting to grips with restoring delivery of your services as best as your local resources will allow and that teams continue to be resilient in dealing with patients’ needs and concerns. I hope that trainees are supported to get back on track to achieve their ARCP targets.

One of the spin offs from the pandemic is the way we deliver education. The BSPGHAN Education series is live and also available on demand. The series of twice weekly live webinars offers CPD for trainees, associates and all members and usually a chance to join a friendly chat with colleagues.

Please do get in touch with myself or a council member if you need a discussion about your service or any items below-

1.   ‘Shielding’ advice for children and young people

While up to up to 76 000 children were initially shielded at the start of the pandemic,  the target was reduced to about 10 000. BSPGHAN this week will be contributing towards updating the national advice with the RCPCH and other key stakeholders. See   information on which paediatric patient groups should be advised to ‘shield’ during the COVID-19 outbreak. We have an opportunity to discuss the definition of children who might be seen as clinically extremely vulnerable. As increasingly reassuring data becomes available, the definition includes far fewer children, but it would be good to have feedback from members, as to which children and young people in our speciality remain clinically extremely vulnerable. It seems likely to be restricted to those children and young people who are peri transplant or have specific immune deficiencies, but please do feedback.

2. Recovery and Restoration of PGHAN services

We saw widespread disruption to normal diagnostic activity with very low activity for almost 6 months – see some data .

Changes in clinical practice emerged:- opportunities to redesign some outpatient services using remote consultations and clinical triage may already be altering endoscopy practice to lower volume- higher yield. While endoscopy was restored in children by July to 40% of pre Covid levels, there is a backlog of patients waiting, with concern about variation in activity and unintended harm due to long waits. Endoscopy activity in children is being highlighted to regional commissioning teams in order to support the reduction in the backlog of priority procedures.

3. RCPCH Conference 2020 online – FREE to register NOW. BSPGHAN speciality session is October 22nd 09.00-12.00

British Association for Paediatric Nephrology and British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition is on

4. BSPGHAN Annual meeting January 26-28th 2021

Please remember to book your study leave to join the virtual BSPGHAN Annual Meeting and AGM.

The meeting will provide a unique opportunity to show case the activity of BSPGHAN’s Working Groups, sessions for the Trainees, PEGHAN and Associate members and a virtual platform for posters.

The importance of the meeting in allowing colleagues to socialise and link up is important we hope that the sessions can be arranged to allow this aspect to continue.

We have delayed the BSPGHAN Annual Meeting in Birmingham to January 2022

5. RCPCH/BSPGHAN Clinical Standards Audit

The audit is up and running again. We have a registered PGHAN Audit lead in around 60% of potential Health Boards and Trusts and so please support the request to bring up the percentage up as high as we can before we start the data capture phase soon.  

6. Recent Resource

A national consensus management pathway for paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with COVID-19 (PIMS-TS): results of a national Delphi process.

Best wishes

Sue Protheroe

BSPGHAN President


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