Our Manchester ASM was finally realised over 19th – 21st April, a mere 3 years after it was originally planned. We ran a hybrid meeting in the end to allow as many of our colleagues to attend as possible, due to the unfortunate clash with Eid al-Fitr. My thanks to Sujata Gupta and her team for sticking with it and to all our members and industry partners for making it happen. It was our first ASM working with Outsource Events, our Professional Conference Organiser, who with Atia and her team delivered the biggest and arguably one of our most successful ASMs ever. Highlights included live surgery and cadaveric dissection supported by our Rhodium sponsors Karl Storz and Ethicon Endo Surgery and RCOG President Ranee Thakar who was this year’s Alec Turnbull Lecturer. Feedback was excellent with particular regard to the program, venue, networking and catching up with colleagues. It was felt that some aspects of the catering could be improved but overall the significant majority of us were very happy and would come again!
So with that in mind next year is Belfast. It will be first time that the BSGE have held a meeting in Northern Ireland, something that is well overdue. The program is drafted and pre-congress courses planned with cadaveric and live surgery sessions on the Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Shaun McGowan and his team have laid on a social program to rival the best. Dining in First Class in the Titanic Galleries and dancing in Steerage says it all. This year we have capacity for over 500 at dinner so partners and significant others will be most welcome. I said this about Manchester but this really will not be one to miss. Registration opens soon so have your abstracts ready and please put the dates in your diary and maybe plan a little extra time to enjoy Belfast and it’s hospitality before or after the conference.
The ASM for 2025 has been awarded to Leeds again scheduled for early May. Planning has already started with visits to Leeds and the venues. Our local team is in Leeds is led by Dorota Hardy and James Tibbott who will be updating us in Belfast.
RIGS has been a growing success within the Society and our national training programme has entered it’s 3rd year, organised centrally but delivered locally. The new format of single days for basic, intermediate and advanced has simplified the admin and travel as well as making attendance easier regarding study leave and faculty. This along with GESEA Certification and our hysteroscopy and laparoscopy courses run jointly with the RCOG provide a substantial portfolio of postgraduate training in minimal access surgery for our members.
Nurse members have been extremely active as part of, and outside of, the ASM with their own streams and workshops. The Endometriosis CNS study day in London was a real success and I am looking forward to the BSGE Nurse Hysteroscopy course in December.
At the time of writing we have just concluded the 2nd Seniors Professional Development Meeting at the MATTU in Guildford generously supported by Storz and Ethicon Endo Surgery. Joe Amaral, who was part of the team that developed ultrasonic energy devices for use in Minimally Invasive Surgery in the early 1990s, led an extremely stimulating session on the Thursday, with live surgery and lab skills on the Friday interspersed with a convivial dinner and networking on Thursday evening. There is more on this in the latest edition of Scope. Moving forward I hope that this meeting will become a fixture in the BSGE calendar delivering something different year on year.
Our relationship with Europe remains strong. Yet again the UK were the largest national group attending the ESGE held in Brussels. Travelling by Eurostar had the additional excitement this year of mixing with Scottish supporters on their way to Lille for the Rugby World Cup. The later trains I understand were slightly more lively than those early morning slots.You will find the conference reports entertaining. Next year the meeting is in Marseilles slightly later than usual towards the end of October.
As always my thanks to Atia and Charis, our secretariat, and of course my fellow officers and council members, who along with our BSGE faculty, make it all happen. It takes a lot of hard work and does not happen by itself but it is incredibly rewarding, so do think of getting involved. BSGE elections are just around the corner so why not give a it a go and put yourselves forward. You won’t regret it.
2023 is now nearly over and I am officially senior! Not only that but my time as President is drawing to a close and I will be handing over to Arvind Vashist towards the end of our meeting in Belfast. The two years has just disappeared which runs true to the adage the time really does fly when you are having fun.
So once again as the holidays draw near I would like to wish you all the best for the Season and hope you will all get some time off with your families and friends. Here’s looking forward to 2024. May it be an even better one.