Following elections and restructuring of BSGE Council in 2018, Arvind Vashisht moved from Industry Relations to become Portfolio Chair for Endometriosis Centres. He provides an update on the Endometriosis Centres and the aims for the future of the portfolio.
The Endometriosis Centres project continues to grow and gain respect. In 2018, the BSGE Endometriosis Centres Scientific Advisory Group published ground-breaking research in BMJ Open. Laparoscopic excision of deep rectovaginal endometriosis in BSGE endometriosis centres: a multicentre prospective cohort study, wasthe largest study of its kind in the world. Using data from the Endometriosis Centres, the study looked at nearly 5000 patients who had surgery for severe endometriosis, performed by more than 100 different surgeons in 51 different hospitals. Dominic Byrne, past BSGE President, said:
“The BSGE has worked for over a decade to establish and accredit a network of specialist Endometriosis Centres, so patients with severe endometriosis can have access to specialist laparoscopic surgery. This paper is the culmination of this enormous effort and reports the outcome of nearly 5,000 patients. It is a landmark moment.”
Emma Cox, Chief Executive of Endometriosis UK welcomed the research saying it
‘Clearly shows the necessity and positive effects of laparoscopic excisional surgery for women with rectovaginal endometriosis. This is proof that – done by experts in specialist centres – surgery can reduce pain and severe symptoms, enabling women to stay in work as well as improving their quality of life.’
NICE published a guideline on endometriosis in 2017. BSGE Endometriosis Centres were recognised within this. They are seen as an opportunity to deliver a specialist service nationally which should prove to be beneficial to patients and more cost effective.
In the future, one of the challenges will be to decide how far or how wide the scope of the Endometriosis Centres should be. There has been a great deal of international interest in developing centres. We need to understand how broad we can make the project and continue to ensure that centres are appropriately accredited.
Following successful publication, we look forward to continuing to use the database as a source of information and research output. However, data protection is a further challenge for the portfolio, accordingly we have made a decision to make all patient data anonymous.
Exemplar videos were introduced in 2016 and have now been embedded in accreditation. The accreditation process is evolving and a minimum of 10 hours per week became mandatory for centre accreditation in 2018. Exemplar videos need to be completed by the end of December and will be assessed in January 2019.
I look forward to updating you on the progress of the Centres both on the website and in a future edition of The Scope, please get in touch if you have any comments or suggestions for the portfolio.
Birmingham Womens Hospital, Birmingham
The BSGE is a respected and influential specialist society due to the passion and vision of our past and current members. I wish to build on these achievements to ensure women have access to the best endosurgical care. It is for this reason I would like the opportunity to step up and lead our society. I believe that I can enhance the status of gynaecological endoscopic surgery in the UK and exert influence on training and the current / future roles of specialist nurses and consultants. I aim to achieve this using my national / international profile and the experiences I have gained from involvement in the BSGE and the wider NHS.
I have contributed to the BSGE for over 20 years through lecturing, training, writing papers / guidelines and serving on sub-committees. I have been a member of BSGE Council since 2013, leading the Research & Audit portfolio where I conceived and developed the BSGE surgical information collection system (www.bsgesics.com). Other BSGE contributions include establishing our clinical studies group in 2011 (research funding > £5 million) and chairing the BSGE Endocentres scientific group. I was on RCOG Council (2007-2013). I am a scientific editor (BJOG and Gynaecological Surgery), a member of the NIHR Research Panel, the NICE HMB guideline and RCOG Clinical Informatics committees.
I am proud to be part of the BSGE and have greatly enjoyed exchanging ideas and making new friends. I will do my very best as VP and President of the BSGE.
Royal Surrey County Hospital
As a minimal access surgeon with over 20 years experience, I learnt my trade under the
auspices of Chris Sutton and Percy Coats. I have been a consultant in Guildford since 2001.
My skills set includes advanced laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery, particularly with
relation to endometriosis, uterine disease and prolapse. I am Director of Gynaecological
Surgery and Research at the MATTU and Clinical Director of the MSc in Advanced
Gynaecological Endoscopy at the University of Surrey.
I have previously served on both the BSGE and ESGE Councils. I have substantial experience
in delivering training programs, including budgetary responsibility and program management.
I have over the years developed excellent relationships with industry, who continue to support
the society and training for our speciality as whole. It is vital that we maintain and foster this
It is important that we value and nurture our human resource, from which will flow excellent
patient care. I would like to help take our society back to its’ roots whilst looking to the
challenges of the future, with training and the sharing of knowledge at it’s heart.
As Treasurer I feel that I would be in a good position to help with this task.
John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
It has been a great privilege to serve on the BSGE council for last 9 years. I was first elected as Trainee Representative (2012-2016), then a Senior Council Member (2016-to date). I am ready to step up and continue to offer my services as Honorary Secretary.
I’m a Gynaecologist at the BSGE Endometriosis Care/Research Centre and a preceptor to advanced laparoscopic trainees at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. I lead gynaecological simulation training for the Thames Valley Deanery. My MSc in Advanced Gynaecological Endoscopy helped me to evaluate a structured simulation module for laparoscopic training.
As a trainee representative, I founded and co-organised the BSGE/Oxford Fresh Cadaveric Laparoscopic Anatomy course, with excellent feedback, contributed to RIGs and represented ESGE/Young Endoscopic Platform.
In my role as Chair for the Awards and Bursaries Subcommittee, I have:
• Increased the annual budget (from £20,000 to £50,000), a number of awards and rounds to improve
• Introduced new awards like Clinical Research, Overseas Awards.
• Proposed/developed BSGE overseas memberships.
I co-authored ESGE Guidelines on Management of Distension Media in Hysteroscopy and RCOG Consent for Laparoscopic Surgery. As a member of the Medical Advisory Panel of Endometriosis UK, I help improve patient awareness.
These valuable experiences and the relationships I have built have given me insight into the operational management of our society and views of our membership, which will enable me to passionately represent you during these challenging times.
Royal Free Hospital, London
When I was first elected as trainee representative, I was involved with the inception and development of the trainee Registrars in Gynaecological Surgery (RIGS) platform, which is growing from strength to strength and continuing to motivate and engage with enthusiastic young surgeons, which ultimately are the future of our society. I later led the Patient information and guidelines sub-committee where I was involved with national guideline development including the soon to be released updated Gynaecological laparoscopy RCOG Green Top guidance. Currently I am the Chair of the Website and Digital Governance Sub-committee where I led the development of the BSGE conference APP and in 2019 we had our first paperless ASM with the introduction of this.
Having served over the last 7 years on the BSGE council, I have gained significant knowledge with regards to several aspects of financial management within the society. Such management is crucial currently given the global situation, and I feel I have the skill and attributes to ensure the society maintains a healthy financial future by realising innovative funding opportunities, through collaboration and partnership with other subcommittees/societies.
Whittington Hospital, London
I have been an active member of the BSGE for the past 5 years and am also a Gynaecologist at the Whittington Hospital in London, which is a BSGE accredited Endometriosis Centre.
My initial involvement in the BSGE stems back to the Jubilee ASM Meeting. I served on the organising committee and was responsible for arranging a pre- congress workshop on operative complications, in addition, to introducing laparoscopic Hands on Training (HOT) workshops.
As one of the chief mentors for the Gynaecological Endoscopic Surgical Education and Assessment (GESEA) programme I have helped introduce GESEA certification to the UK, where together with the BSGE we have continued to run biannual certification sessions which continues to grow in popularity and receive positive feedback. I am also actively involved with ESGE where I serve as co chair for the Young Endoscopic Platform and associate editor of ESGE vision.
I understand the commitment required to be a BSGE Council Member and feel I possess the energy and enthusiasm to serve the membership. If successfully appointed, I would aim to strengthen the links between the BSGE and our European counterparts. I am passionate about training opportunities in minimal access surgery and would hope to use this platform to set up recognised visiting training fellowships in specialist centres throughout Europe.
University College London Hospital
For me, the BSGE stands out amongst fellow national societies in its inclusiveness, forward thinking and its effectiveness to responsibly drive through key issues such as training programmes, setting standards and national governance.
I was lucky enough to have been the Chair of the Organising Committee for the 2015 BSGE Silver Jubilee meeting. In this role I gained considerable understanding and experience of the working of the society, its profile, role, projects and administration.
I had ample opportunity to work with members of Council as well as a significant number of members nationwide spanning nurses, junior and seniors who worked collaboratively with me to make the meeting the biggest and most profitable annual scientific meeting yet.
Having whet my appetite, I am keen to serve the society in a productive fashion and I want to help ensure that it continues in its direction:
- to reach out to all gynaecology endoscopy subspecialties
- to recognise and represent multi-disciplinary team members
- to appeal, encourage and facilitate education for trainees.
To this end I am already involved in BSGE anatomy and surgical training workshops, and it would be a pleasure to assume greater responsibility with Council.
Worcestershire Royal Hospital
Donna has completed a two-year term as trainee representative on the BSGE council, from 2016-2018, and sits on the BSGE subcommittees for Awards & Bursaries and Communications & Website.
She has gained considerable experience in minimal access surgery, having won a BSGE travelling fellowship in 2013 to work within Sydney Women’s Endosurgery Centre and having completed the ATSM in advanced laparoscopy, subsequently commencing a Post CCT fellowship at the Wirral University Teaching Hospital. She has recently been appointed as Consultant at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals.
Donna has supported the development of Registrars in Gynaecological Surgery (RIGs) to improve opportunities and communication amongst trainees. She conducted a BSGE laparoscopic training survey and completed the RCOG Gynaecological Surgery training analysis for 2017. Having identified deficiencies in training across the UK she subsequently conceived, organised and implemented the RIGs/ BSGE Intermediate Laparoscopy Course in 2018.
Donna was responsible for the introduction of the ‘Pecha Kucha’ into the BSGE Annual Scientific Meeting as well as organising the first trainee breakout session. She is organising faculty for the 2018 pre-congress video-editing workshop and the RIGs Annual Dinner in Edinburgh.
Whipps Cross Hospital, London
I have been a member of the BSGE for more than 20 years and a regular attender of the annual meetings. I would like to be elected to the council to further the society’s aims to improve standards, promote training and encourage innovation by the exchange of ideas within the MAS community.
My experience as Consultant Gynaecologist since 2001 and Clinical Director for Gynaecology at the Bart’s Health, the country’s largest trust (2012-2015), and my current post as Clinical director for Women’s services at Whipps Cross has given me the level of experience that would aid me in the role of council member.
My passion is for the delivery, promotion, and training of consistently high quality MAS. At Whipps cross this has resulted in 100% women needing surgery having their ectopics treated laparoscopically irrespective of site or haemodynamic status with trainees performing most of the procedures, and more than 50% of hysterectomies and myomectomies being performed laparoscopically.
To help promote laparoscopic hysterectomy I am a preceptor on the BSGE lap hysterectomy programme. To promote training I am a preceptor to one of the only 5 advanced ATSM trainees in the country and my trainees having won prizes for their presentations at BSGE ASM for 3 years in a row.
I am driven and welcome innovation for patient outcomes having published widely on topics including ectopic pregnancy, laparoscopic myomectomy and hysterectomy.
As a council member, I hope to continue to help eliminate women’s healthcare delivery disparities and raise systematic health care issues for women using information technology and App development to acquire and disseminate information to effect change in practice.
Princess Royal Hospital, Brighton
I’m a consultant gynaecologist in an aspiring BSGE centre. As a trainee I benefitted from the many training opportunities the BSGE offered including the BSGE/Ethicon Laparoscopic Training Programme and have regularly participated in the many fantastic ASMs. I’m currently a member of the BSGE Webcoms-subcommittee team and regularly contribute to the Scope magazine. I’m also an assistant editor for FVVO journal and a training-programme-director for KSS deanery.
As a BSGE council member I’ll work enthusiastically for all members, ensuring the high standards of the BSGE are maintained, while working with council members to develop the society focusing on inclusivity, patient safety and education. Training and education are a particular passion of mine and I’ll strive to ensure the BSGE focuses on inclusiveness to engage with as many clinicians as possible and continues to push up the standards of benign gynaecological care.
COVID-19 continues to be a huge challenge on all levels. As a council member I’ll work tirelessly to ensure training standards are maintained and surgical trainees of the future do not suffer, particularly focusing on expanding simulation and virtual training opportunities.
The BSGE has developed exponentially as a society over the years and it is exciting to see the continued positive advancement of our speciality. I would be honoured to become part of the journey and pledge to work passionately for all to accelerate this development.
Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth
I have been a proud active member of the BSGE for all of my life as a trainee and now as a Consultant Gynaecologist working at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth specializing in Advanced Minimally Invasive Gynaecological Surgery.
Prior to a career in medicine, I was also one of the youngest Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers in the World and can speak over 20 computing languages. These qualifications earned me the honour of serving as part of the BSGE Website and Digital Governance sub-committee for over 5 years previously under Mr Khazali and now Mr Shakir. Together, over the years we have aligned the BSGE’s digital governance with NHS Digital and GDPR Compliance and have strengthened the IT security of the whole organisation.
With my knowledge in networking and database solutions, I have worked closely with Professor Clark to develop the BSGE Surgical Information Collection System which has evolved from strength to strength and is now the go to tool for continuous audit and appraisal for over 400 BSGE members around the World.
With the challenges brought on by the pandemic, working closely with Atia Khan, I have been one of the key organisers of the BSGE Virtual ASM 2021 which will be the first Scientific Meeting of its kind featuring an explorable and interactive 3D environment. As a Senior Member on the Council, I aim to help keep the BSGE fabulously future ready and digitally secure.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
As a consultant for 15 years in a busy DGH, I have always been passionate about advancing MAS surgery within gynaecology. The BSGE Worcestershire Endometriosis Centre is amongst the busiest in the country, striving to improve care. My other special interest is laparoscopic urogynaecology in our BSUG accredited Urogynaecology unit.
Since training in the North West and fellowship in Australia in 2003-5, I have had a keen interest in laparoscopic training and still assist with local, national and international courses each year. We also have an advanced ATSM trainee and have made laparoscopic surgery the default surgical route for gynaecology in our unit. My previous experience as Clinical Director and current role as Divisional Director has given me a broad understanding of the NHS and the challenges we face in training, governance, finance and specialist commissioning.
Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth
As a Consultant Minimal access surgeon at the Southern Endometriosis center I have been tasked to develop a minimal access service and more recently expand this as a robotic service. This has been a challenge and one for which I am keen to offer my experience on the journey for anyone else who wishes to develop their services.
I have been a member of the BSGE since 2015 and I have had an active role in the society website and communications. I have enjoyed doing this and the service that has driven me to stand for the council to represent your views which I have been given during my time on the editorial board of the journal.
With support from the society, I have travelled abroad, visiting centres of excellence and gained experience from other colleagues. This is one of the most valuable opportunities offered by the society and I would aim to strengthen relationship with recognised training hospitals abroad. I am part of the faculty at the University in Bologna – Masters in minimally invasive surgery. This experience will enable me to help support others wanting to gain similar exposure. If elected I would endeavour to help strengthen the research profile and advanced training opportunities, especially for trainees, through collaboration and partnership with other centres abroad.
Stockport NHS foundation Trust
Cornwall Endometriosis Centre
I have been in post as an Endometriosis Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Cornwall Endometriosis Centre since November 2016.
During this time, I have seen how the clinical nurse specialist is a fundamental part of a multidisciplinary team striving to achieve the very best care and service for our patients. As a member of the BSGE, I am aware of the society’s continued commitment to facilitate education, guidance, standard setting and professionalism. An opportunity to be a council member represents an exciting opportunity to develop changes, which will improve care for all women with endometriosis. There is currently considerable variation in the CNS role and how nurses work providing the best service for our patients. I would like to see obstacles challenged and the nurse’s role to continue to evolve, creating an environment where we can work to our full potential. To enhance the patient journey in providing expert, high quality care and also to have a voice as a practitioner, leading nurse led services.
The CNS role is extremely rewarding. I provide an independent nurse led service encompassing pre and post-surgical care, and, for patients choosing a non-surgical approach of care. I am a member of the MDT, maintaining strong links with the team. I maintain the database for Cornwall Endometriosis Centre, run a patient support group and am non-medical prescriber. My particular interest is in pain management and psychology of pain. I feel that my level of practice offers the opportunity to actively contribute to the BSGE council and I would be grateful of your support.
West Cumberland Hospital
Over the last three years I have had the privilege of being the nurse hysteroscopist on the sub-committee, being able to support my colleagues and share information as required. In this time I have also worked with the team at the University of Bradford, meeting the new hysteroscopy students annually introducing them to the BGSE. This has meant as a team we have been able to share guidelines, policies and networking opportunities as well as resources which they have felt would benefit them. When it was realised nurse hysteroscopists could not be revalidated through the BSGE I was able to work with the nurse hysteroscopists and Professor Justin Clark to make recommendations for the website to support nurse appraisal by the employing trust. The introduction of the ambulatory care meeting has been a huge success and I am proud I have been able to be a part of this. I would now like to progress my role further and have a chair position at the BSGE this would be a true honour to represent my colleagues in the nurse hysteroscopy field.
University Hospital of Wales
After graduating from Nottingham University, completing foundation training in London and Core Surgery in Wales, I am currently ST5 in Cardiff where I will commence the advanced laparoscopy for the excision of benign disease ATSM this August.
I am RIGS regional representative for Wales, committee member/social secretary for the Trainees in Wales O&G Society and UHW trainee representative. These roles provide grounding for fulfilling the position of junior council representative, requiring effective teamwork and leadership, facilitated by efficient communication and organisation. I have demonstrated these key skills and would utilise them to represent views and opinions of trainees within the BSGE. I am committed, enthusiastic and enjoy engaging with colleagues.
In 2016 I won best candidate at the “WelshEndoscopySkillsTraining” course, prizes for best ST3-5 and overall best O&G trainee in Wales 2017, along with a BSGE trainee video prize. These awards show my hard work and commitment, essential when representing colleagues on a national committee.
In 2016 I completed an observational fellowship with Professor Einarsson, president of the AAGL. I have presented internationally (AAGL/ESGE/RCOG), continuing to seek opportunities for research/quality improvement in training and service provision in minimal access gynaecology. I took a lead role in the successful bid to host the 2019 BSGE ASM at Celtic Manor, continuing to be an active member of the organising committee. This demonstrates my ambition to go above and beyond when presented with a challenge.
I would be honoured and excited to follow Donna’s impressive example and represent my trainee colleagues on council.
St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey
I am an ST5 working on the CEMIG team at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey. I am also a RIGS regional representative for Kent, Surrey and Sussex and a member of ESGE, ISGE and ISON.
My areas of interests are teaching and training in MAS, Neuropelveology and development of tools for laparoscopic education.
As part of my commitment to teaching in MAS, I have started an annual laparoscopic workshop in the Hoima General Hospital in Uganda. So far, we have done two successful practical teaching sessions (2018 and 2019), and we are planning on returning to Hoima early next year. This shows my commitment to education in MAS not only locally but globally. The organisation of these two trips required an extensive time commitment, effective teamwork, good communication and excellent leadership skills which I believe are essential for the role of a junior council member. If appointed to the council I would utilise these skills to advance the interaction between trainees and the organisation as well as develop new learning opportunities in gynaecological endoscopy.
In 2017 I launched a website called “The Art of Laparoscopy and Laparoscopic Workouts”. This website was designed to improve motor skills of surgeons by performing various psychomotor tasks and exercises. I have also developed a unique laparoscopic trainer, that would be accompanied by a phone application to make training easier and more enjoyable.
As specialist societies co-ordinator for the BSGE, Atia Khan is the first point of contact, and something of a Girl Friday, for BSGE members.
Lesley Hill Lesley has been the Accounts and Database Administrator for almost a quarter of a century! Born in London and raised in Kidderminster, she was educated at Kidderminster High School for Girls. Her working life began in the Civil Service and, after the birth of her son, and five years in Germany working as an English Secretary, she returned to England and furthered her career to management. Lesley became Head of Examinations Services at Pitman Examination Institute in Godalming, Surrey dealing with schools and managers throughout the world. She became a full member of the Institute of Management. She managed 54 staff and played a major role in the development of the company’s computerisation. After 12 years, Pitman relocated to London and Lesley decided to start afresh in a stress free (!) job. She secured a position with Jeremy Wright to build up his private medical practice. From the day Jeremy handed her a set of index cards she has helped to develop the BSGE into the impressive Society it is today. Lesley suffered her second bout of cancer in 1997 and when her husband retired from St George’s Medical School in 1998, they decided to move to Cyprus where she continued her work for the BSGE.18 months ago they left Cyprus and now spend a lot of time in Spain. They have a place in Midhurst, West Sussex. Whether in Spain, England, on a cruise or a far off land, every day is a work day and she is always ready, computer to hand, to deal with members’ problems, needs and queries and to ensure she fully supports the Treasurer with his many duties. Lesley thoroughly enjoys all that she does for the BSGE and its’ members and will continue to do so as long as her services are required!
Barbara joined the BSGE family in November 2020 to assist the BSGE Manager in her many duties.
Dr Jane Gilbert qualified as a doctor from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School just as it was being eaten up by Imperial College. She has been working for the past eighteen years as a health journalist. She has been published widely and created content for Roche Pharmaceuticals, Diabetes Wales, Hamlyn books, Boots, ITV and Channel 4 and a number of NHS Trusts.
She is currently employed as the BSGE’s assistant editor as well as creating digital health information ‘prescriptions’ for the E-Health company Pocket Medic.
Members of a certain age may remember Jane’s toe-curling interview for medical school which featured on the BBC series “Doctors to Be’ –she definitely still enjoys a bit of Shakepeare!