I hope you are well and coping with the challenges resulting from COVID-19. I am acutely aware that we are living in exceptional times and this pandemic has and will continue to place levels of demand on our NHS that none of us have previously experienced. I am also conscious that many of us are designated as key workers. Some of us are also carers. It is important to consider your own wellbeing and there a number of resources that have been made available to NHS staff and so BADS has provided links to some of these on our website.
Although nationally day surgery has had to take a back seat during the pandemic, there are a number of processes that as a society BADS has had to continue with and BADS council have responsibilities which we must address. A number of BADS conferences have understandably been postponed and you should have recently received an update of the proposed new dates via email. We are mindful that we are still living in uncertain times and these dates may need to be reviewed. With the postponement of our annual conference to March 2021 we have had to consider our AGM which we have decided to hold as a virtual meeting on Thursday 25th June time at 12midday.
We have managed to hold our council elections and I am delighted to welcome 4 new members of council, Dr Matthew Checketts, Miss Vanessa Cubas, Mrs Catherine Jack and Dr Rachel Morris. All have been involved in day surgery for a number of years and I am confident will be active in supporting and progressing the work of BADS. More information on our new council members will be published in the next edition of JODS. I am sad to announce that Dr Madhu Ahuja stepped down from BADS council in February. Madhu has been on council for almost 9 years and edited numerous BADS booklets and managed the BADS website for many years. She has been International Association of Ambulatory Surgery (IAAS) representative for the last 3 years. Her knowledge, experience and hard work will be missed and I thank Madhu for all of the time end effort she has given to BADS.
With the announcement by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on 27th April 2020 that elective surgery can restart according to local circumstances then hopefully we will see increase in day surgery activity again. The website formed by collaboration between intensive care and anaesthesia https://icmanaesthesiacovid-19.org has many useful resources relating to the COVID-19 pandemic including a document on Restarting planned surgery in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This document published on 1st May 2020
“seeks to ensure that planned activity matches a realistic assessment of the ability of NHS staff and resources to deliver this activity. It is essential that when the resumption of planned surgery takes place, care is delivered safely, efficiently and in a sustainable manner, taking into account the staffing, environment and equipment needed to operate, but also the continuing impact of care of COVID-19 patients on postoperative critical care capacity.”
As planned surgery is reintroduced I believe it is important to plan as much surgery as possible a day surgery. It is reasonable to consider any procedure in the BADS Directory of Procedures 6th Edition as a suitable day case and then to ask the question “what would be done differently if they were to be kept in overnight? “ Guidance on how to develop day case general surgery, knee surgery, hip surgery, gynaecological surgery and breast surgery can be obtained by attending the BADS/HCUK conferences planned for later this year. The BADS booklets also provide a wealth of information and are available from the BADS website including two recently published booklets: Day case Breast Surgery and Surgical Same Day Emergency Care.
Please let's all look out for one another, stay safe and well.
Download this article as PDF here: https://appconnect.daysurgeryuk.net/media/37948/302-president.pdf