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A National Survey of Hernia Services and Surgeons

A National Survey of Hernia Services and Surgeons: Review of Current Practices Within the UK in association with the British Hernia Society

Dear BHS member,

In 2017, The European Hernia Society (EHS) appointed a working group comprised of 18 hernia experts from across Europe and published guidance for hernia centre and surgeon accreditation.  This was labelled the ‘ACCESS project’ (Accreditation and Certification Requirements for Hernia Centres and Surgeons) [1].

This guidance, published in 2019, advised that with the increasingly complex nature of hernia surgery due to new techniques, more difficult cases and a tailored approach, there is a need for specialist hernia centres and surgeons.  It highlighted the fact that as other areas of surgery become sub-specialised or disease specific hernia surgery has yet to do so but should follow suit.  The remit for this regulation falls to healthcare professionals and the emphasis has been placed on national hernia societies to develop their own programmes for this, based on the ACCESS project recommendations, to account for different respective healthcare systems.

Currently there is no registry or accountability for hernia surgery.  It remains a large area of surgery that remains a ‘bit-part’ of the general surgeons’ practice.  As a result of this, and the recent EHS publication, the British Hernia Society (BHS) is looking to establish how hernia surgery is being practiced throughout the United Kingdom.  This project will initially focus on increasing understanding of where hernia surgery is performed, the type of hernia surgery being performed, and the volume of hernia surgery being performed by centres and surgeons in the UK.

As a valued member of the BHS we would welcome your contribution to this important project.  We will be carrying out a short survey to collect this information to provide a national picture or hernia surgery.  Please distribute to any colleagues within your department who may not be members of the British Hernia Society but are performing hernia surgery and please encourage as many surgeons who perform hernia surgery as possible to complete the survey, using existing networks and social media.  Thank you in advance for completing the short survey by clicking on this link:

BHS Hernia Survey 2020

Mr. Liam Horgan
President, British Hernia Society

Mr Thomas Grove, Mr Christos Kontovounisios, Mr. Oliver Warren
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College London


1. Kockerling F, Sheen AJ, Berrevoet F, Campanelli G, Cuccurullo D, Fortelny R, Friis-Andersen H, Gillion JF, Gorjanc J, Kopelman D, Morales-Conde S, Osterberg J, Reinpold W, Simmermacher RKJ (2019).  Accrediation and Certification Requirements for Hernia Centres and Surgeons: the ACCESS Project. Hernia 23; 2: 185-203

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