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British Hernia Society sub committees

BHS Registry subcommittee

The BHS Registry sub-committee (RSC) was formed in 2021 as an operational group to develop the new BHS Registry. This exciting, ground-breaking project for the British Hernia Society will provide large-scale, real-world data on patient-centred outcomes to steer the course of hernia surgery, including product development, in the years to come and ensure patient safety.

The RSC is overseeing the development and introduction of the registry for all hernia repairs in the UK and other countries that wish to be involved. The work of the committee includes raising funding, recruiting surgeons, developing the dataset, introducing a software package, publicity, governance, quality, audit, reporting and education. The BHS Registry is currently being trialled.  It will be extended to BHS members and beyond in 2024.


AWR subcommittee


The Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Subcommittee recognise the rapid and widespread developments that have occurred in hernia management in the last decade. The evolution of complex component separation, both minimal access and open, has happened at an amazing pace. However, it remains a fact that the majority of ventral/incisional hernia repairs that are undertaken inI the UK do not happen with these new techniques.


 As a committee we believe that it is more important, initially, to disseminate and consolidate techniques that will prevent the formation of incisional hernia and would like to promote ‘one safe and effective’ way to repair a standard ventral/incisional hernia. To that end we will be ensuring that all ‘general’ surgeons are familiar with, and practice techniques such as small bites closure and a retro muscular (Rives-Stoppa) repair. Having established the widespread use of these these basics we would like to  help create and support  specialists units to extend and provide more complex repairs. 


  • Toby Hammond (Chair)
  • Dominic Slade
  • Sanjoy Basu
  • Oliver Warren
  • Jonathan Hodgkinson
  • Jackie Bullock

AWR Subcommittee Update

The BHS AWR Subcommittee joined forces with the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain & Ireland (ACPGBI) Abdominal Wall Subcommittee in January 2022.

Our aims are to promote safe & standardised care to prevent & manage incisional and parastomal hernias through education & training of:

  1. How to open & close the abdomen
  2. Management of the open abdomen
  3. Principles of simple midline ventral/ incisional hernia repair with a focus on retrorectus mesh repair
  4. Stoma management, including stoma formation, parastomal hernia prevention and treatment

To achieve these aims we have been working on a number of projects  including:

  • CLosure of the Abdominal Midline Survey (CLAMS). The purpose is to capture national practice and help drive quality improvement in making surgeons aware of evidence-based closure techniques for abdominal midline incisions. This is now closed to entry
  • National Open Abdomen Audit (NOAA). This is a 12-month audit of the current management and outcomes in patients with open abdomens across the UK. We aim to collect contemporaneous data from across the UK to generate a comprehensive database and build national guidelines on best practice. Please register your interest to participate at
  • Developing a Delphi consensus descriptor set for studies on parastomal hernias. The treatment of parastomal hernias is complex and published studies show lots of variation in how they describe patients in their studies. This makes it difficult to compare management strategies. We would like to address that by agreeing on a set of key descriptors which can be used in future parastomal hernia studies. This is now closed.
  • Developing a Delphi consensus document for the management of parastomal hernias. We put together a global collaborative of hernia surgeons, patient representatives and stoma nurses with the aim of sharing best practice and management pathways. The aim was to develop a non-evidence based expert consensus document with a focus on patient safety and improving their outcomes. This is now closed
  • We are working with the Royal College of Surgeons to amend the section on opening and closing the abdomen in the Basic Surgical Skills course to reflect the move away from mass closure using a blunt needle to a small bite technique using a sharp needle on a slowly absorbable suture secured with self-locking knots
  • We are working with the BHS Educational Subcommittee to help AWR course organisers standardise their content with the aim of badging and promoting their courses.

Education & Training subcommittee

The BHS Education sub committee aim to establish the current educational activity in hernia surgery in the UK. We aim to establish a network in hernia surgery education and to develop programs of education.

  • Oroog Ali (Chair)
  • Christian Wakefield
  • Balendra Kumar
  • Srinivasan Balchandra
  • Duncan Scrimgeour
  • Susannah Hill
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