The British Hernia Society goes from strength to strength. Our biennial general meeting took place in the Assembly Rooms, in Edinburgh this year, organised by immediate past president Mr Andrew de Beaux and Mr Duncan Light. Attendance at the meeting was excellent with 300 people in attendance, and feedback was also excellent particularly on some very topical sessions. We were well supported by our industry partners without whom it would be impossible to run such a successful meeting.
As a result of increased membership, the British Hernia Society board has decided to increase the number of board members from eight to ten. As all the existing board members are male, we are very keen to have more balance and wish to encourage female members to join the board. Mr Duncan Light is responsible for the website, membership and communications and has now been appointed to a consultant post. As a result, we plan to advertise for a trainee surgeon on the board. These posts will be advertised in the new year, and elections will be co-ordinated by the society secretary, Prof Aali Sheen.
We are in a healthy financial position following our recent meeting, and the stewardship of our treasurer Mr Brian Stephenson. The board has decided to invite applications for further research grants to encourage research into hernia. Details of the grant application process will be published early next year by the science secretary, Mr. David Sanders.
The aim of the British Hernia Society is to promote safe, effective and high-quality hernia surgery throughout the UK. In the coming year we will attempt to collate and publish, on our website, details of all courses pertaining to hernia repair in the UK. Please inform our education secretary Mr. Aman Bhargava of the details of any hernia course you are running.
I have recently had preliminary discussions with Irish hernia surgeons through the RCSI with a view to explore ways to collaborate and work more closely together. Talks are ongoing. The board is supportive of closer ties.
On behalf of its members, the board will seek to drive forward the establishment of a hernia registry for the UK, and possibly Ireland. We are in the process of constructing a stakeholder group and to foster links with any interested parties. This group will establish how best to set up a registry and whether we should replicate an existing hernia registry such as the Danish hernia registry. We have had preliminary discussions with the Royal College of Surgeons of England in this regard. Our registry secretary, Mr Al Windsor and I, with the help of David Sanders and other board members will betaking this forward.
The board has, for some time, identified the lack of suitable PROMS for hernia as an issue, and we are actively seeking to establish a relevant set of PROMS for different types of hernia repair. We are looking at how other countries use mobile technology that allows instant feedback using an app which may provide better feedback.
I encourage you to come to the next AWR Europe meeting run by board member Al Windsor, at the end of January 2019. The EHS meeting this year is in Hamburg from the 11th to the 14th September. The next BHS meeting will be in 2020, details to be confirmed. We are planning already for the EHS meeting to be held in Manchester in 2022 which is being organised by board member Prof Aali Sheen.
The British Hernia Society exists for the benefit of its members, which means you, and our patients. Please make use of our website as a source of reference. If you wish to contribute to the running of your society,please consider standing for the elections to the board next year. If you have any other suggestions as to how the society should be run or improved, please contact us directly.
I look forward to a very exciting and successful 2-year term, and I am honoured to have been elected as president to serve the society.