Message from the Secretary

January 2019
Mr Vinod Menon
Honorary Secretary, BOMSS

BOMSS council has been working behind the scenes on all matters bariatric and metabolic. A sizeable contingent attended IFSO 2018 in Dubai in September, once again a very successful meeting. AIS channel supported by IFSO offers an excellent library of technical videos, webinars are a regular feature and Obesity Surgery continues to publish relevant scientific articles. Kamal Mahawar, through his links with IFSO and Obesity Surgery has negotiated a favourable arrangement for abstracts from BOMSS ASM to be published in BJS starting from Belfast.

There exists gross under provision of bariatric services in Northern Ireland, a symposium is planned for the evening of Wednesday, 23 January entitled Obesity Services in Northern Ireland: Implementing the Clinical Resource Efficiency Support Team (CREST) recommendations. There will be presentations from patients, physicians, surgeons, public health specialists and commissioners. Barriers and solutions will be discussed.

Your council is committed to increasing the number of bariatric and metabolic surgeries offered in the UK to 20,000 per year within the next 3-5 years; we are also appreciative of the support from All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Obesity which is championing the cause of patients. The success of this proposal depends on developing infrastructure and adequate number of surgeons and other professionals who can deliver this.

Trainee members of both BOMSS and AUGIS councils are working closely to develop an integrated training programme encompassing the wider needs of upper GI & bariatric surgery. Low numbers of operations have impacted on surgical experience of bariatric trainees and innovative solutions need to be found.

An exciting training day is scheduled for 23 January, ahead of our Annual Scientific meeting (ASM) on the 24 and 25 when BOMSS visits the most bombed hotel in the world – the refurbished Europa Hotel in Belfast. The scientific committee will offer us an amazing array of topics including ‘increasing access to bariatric surgery – obstacles and solutions’ – lessons learnt from Nordic and Swiss experience. For the first time, we have two lawyers giving their perspective of patients who have had difficulty or been denied bariatric surgery. The Society of Bariatric Anaesthetists (SOBA) will have a session on Friday morning, aptly titled Sacred cows in bariatric practice – where is the evidence?

Please also come and listen to the debate on Is it time to abandon BMI as a selection criteria for bariatric surgery? Another interesting debate will focus on whether bariatric procedures (there are more than 30 bariatric procedures practiced worldwide) should be supported by randomised control trial data before wider acceptance. An MDT discussion on difficult cases and a joint AHP / Surgical free paper session will be additional highlights.

Yitka Graham, our research lead will inform us about where BOMSS and our membership stand concerning research. The By-Band Sleeve trial recruitment is on track and we will also have updates from Corinne Owers on behalf of the trainees plus details of revised psychology guidance.

Peter Small has settled well in to post as NBSR chair and the committee has published COP 2016/17 clearly demonstrating excellent outcomes and safety. NBSR is one of the largest bariatric surgical databases in the world and we are one of the main contributors to the IFSO global registry. The data is becoming mature and no doubt a number of interesting publications are underway. We are working with PHIN (Private Health Care Information Network) to help ensure robustness of data that gets published in the public domain regarding surgery provided in the private sector.

The relationship with AUGIS continues to be positive and face-to -ace AUGIS / BOMSS executive meetings have been very productive, The BOMSS short paper session at Edinburgh was very well attended and discussions are ongoing as to how best to work jointly in the future. There is no doubt we can work more strongly for our patients and our profession as one voice with tailored work streams.

Preparations for a joint meeting in 2020 are in progress, the Dutch bariatric society is also very keen to have a joint meeting with BOMSS in the next couple of years.

Our relationship with industry continues to remain strong, Chandra Cheruvu maintains the link and I would encourage everybody coming to Belfast to visit the stands and engage. GDPR regulations and the introduction of new IT system for AUGIS / BOMSS has seen a reduction in membership numbers. Please could full members and AHPs renew their subscriptions, attractive packages are being offered to AHPs for both Belfast 2019 and Aberdeen 2020. Duff Bruce and team are already started planning BOMSS 2020 in Aberdeen.

July 2018
Mr Vinod Menon
Honorary Secretary, BOMSS

The new year commenced with a very successful BOMSS Annual Scientific Meeting at Telford, ably organised by Manuel Riera. There was an impressive array of international speakers including Prof Michel Gagner, Prof Patou, Dr Torsten Olbers and Dr Alfredo Genco covering a wide range of topics including optimising outcomes of sleeve gastrectomy, non-alcoholic steato-hepatitis, adolescent bariatric surgery and gastric balloons in the management of obesity. The training day was once again very popular and the gala dinner truly memorable. Key learning points from the hugely successful IFSO 2017 meeting were discussed in addition to other relevant issues including medico-legal aspects, role of social media and regulation of bariatric practice.

BOMSS council remains concerned about the decline in number of state funded bariatric activity on the NHS. This has implications on training particularly as a portion of such NHS activity is carried out in the private sector and trainees are not ordinarily expected to attend. A new position of BOMSS lead for education and training has been created and Marco Adamo has taken on this important role for a period of two years. Marco will be working closely with the Royal Colleges, trainees and the SAC in Surgery, reporting back to council regularly.

Your society is committed to increasing the number of bariatric and metabolic operations carried out annually to around 20,000 over the next five years. Prof Rachel Batterham is working tirelessly with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Obesity & the Obesity Health Alliance to support this initiative. APPG recently commissioned a report entitled The current landscape of obesity services which will further this cause. The Obesity Empowerment Network (OEN) made a good case for bariatric surgery in a recent BBC sponsored programme.

IFSO 2017 generated a substantial surplus for the society. Careful consideration is being given to the best way to utilise this incorporating the interests of everyone concerned within the field, most importantly , our patients.

Dr Yitka Graham has been appointed as BOMSS national research lead, Yitka is undertaking a huge piece of work mapping research activities currently undertaken in various bariatric units, surveying BOMSS members, setting up a research section on our website along with looking at resources available within NIHR etc. This will help develop a research strategy with timeframes, she will be reporting to BOMSS council quarterly and attending alternate meetings.

NBSR continues to generate high quality data showcasing benefits of bariatric and metabolic surgery. Version 2 upgrade incorporating NHS numbers will be coming online soon. Clinical Outcomes Publication (COP) 2017 has been delayed by a few months partly due to the work relating to Version 2 upgrade, and we hope to publish this in the summer followed by publication of COP 2018 within a few months thereafter working closely with Healthcare Quality Innovation Partnership (HQIP). Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) are very interested in working with NBSR and BOMSS to ensure high quality outcome data are generated for patients treated in the private sector. We hope that reporting of all bariatric activity in the private sector will become mandatory in the near future. NBSR continues to be the leading contributor to IFSO global registry. Peter Small has stepped in to the crucial role of Interim Chair of NBSR and we look forward to his commitment and enthusiasm to take NBSR to greater heights.

We work very closely with AUGIS and look forward to the joint meeting in 2020. AUGIS 2018 in Edinburgh in September will have the customary bariatric free paper session in addition to talks relevant to us. AUGIS is very keen to incorporate our very successful model of integrating AHP’s in to all mainstream activities. A joint effort is underway to set up the new membership database and subscription collection system and I would encourage everyone to support this.

The feedback from delegates at the 3rd BOMSS winter meeting in Italy in March was excellent in terms of scientific content, discussions, skiing and social programme. Marco is already confirming the venue for early next year and will hopefully be a recurring event on our calendar.

Kamal Mahawar and I represented BOMSS at the 1st Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery consensus meeting at New Delhi in March, a consensus statement is expected soon about standardising technical aspects of all major operations.

The next BOMSS ASM will be held at Belfast (23 – 25 January 2019) and Rachel Batterham chairs the scientific committee, David Kerrigan chairs the local organising committee and Chandra Cheruvu represents council in our relationship with industry partners supporting our meetings.

IFSO 2018 will be held in Dubai at the end of September. I am pleased to report that our AHP member Sally Abbott has been awarded the IFSO EC fellowship to attend this meeting.

I am delighted to welcome Ahmed Ahmed, Cynthia Michelle-Borg and Corinne Owers (Trainee representative) to BOMSS council.

David Kerrigan, our President-elect will take over from Shaw Somers in January 2019.

January 2018
Vinod Menon
Honorary Secretary BOMSS

BOMSS had the privilege to host the spectacular IFSO 2017 meeting at the QE2 Conference centre in London last autumn. The delegate numbers were at an all-time high of 2,758 from 82 countries, almost 800 attended the 10 pre-congress courses, including 21 live operating sessions. Those on sleeve gastrectomy, one anastomosis gastric bypass, primary care and integrated health and revisional bariatric surgery were highly popular. Over a 1,000 high quality papers and posters of scientific interest were presented. ‘Scopinaro lecture’ by the highly acclaimed international explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes was truly inspirational. Special thanks are due to Richard Wellbourn and Cynthia Michelle-Borg for all the planning and hard work in making this meeting a grand success.

The social events provided excellent opportunity for networking with colleagues from all round the world, the meeting venue showcasing the elegance and beauty of London in the summer and the Gala Dinner at the Royal Maritime Museum at Greenwich including the journey by boat on the Thames were very well received. We are indeed very grateful to our Professional Congress Organiser – ‘TFI Limited’. The support from industry partners was overwhelming and all of the above contributed to a substantial surge in the society’s coffers. BOMSS council will be discussing this in depth at our next meeting with a view to supporting sustainable programmes aimed at education, teaching and training of full members and AHPs. We are also very keen to look at how the success of this meeting could be translated in to empowering patients and improving their care.

The NBSR committee chaired by Marco Adamo continues to work hard to develop the Version 2 upgrade jointly with Dendrite in time for our annual meeting in January 2018. Several high quality presentations and posters based on NBSR data were presented at IFSO meeting, we are the single largest contributor to the IFSO global registry, we continue to engage with HQIP towards producing clinical outcomes publication and also with individual trusts who contribute to the running costs of the registry in return for validated information on activity and outcomes. The NBSR committee is working closely with Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) to ensure our membership are fully aware of the recent changes including data capture and analysis of outcomes in the private sector. This is mandatory from the current financial year. NBSR has evolved to be ‘the jewel on our crown’ and there are exciting times ahead.

Guidance documents on social media policy, mesenteric defect closure following gastric bypass as well as on private practice are scheduled to be uploaded on our website in the very near future.

The relationship between BOMSS and AUGIS continues to get stronger, our session at the AUGIS ASM at Cork was well attended and discussions are ongoing towards a joint meeting in the next 2-3 years. We will be working jointly with AUGIS in setting up a new membership data base and subscription collection system and members will be reminded shortly to renew their direct debit instructions.

Manel Riera and colleagues from Telford have put together a fantastic training day and scientific programme for the 9th BOMSS ASM at the International Convention Centre Telford from 24 to 26 January. We have an impressive list of international speakers including Prof Michel Gagner (sleeve gastrectomy & reflux oesophagitis), Prof Alfredo Genco (endoscopic aspects of bariatric surgery particularly gastric balloons), Prof Torsten Olbers (Adolescent bariatric surgery) and Prof Patou (Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). The support from industry partners has been excellent as always and I look forward to welcoming everyone to Telford for what promises to be a great meeting.

The 3rd winter BOMSS meeting will be held from 24 to 28 March at Covara, Italy. Marco Adamo will be organising this once again building on the success of the two previous meetings.

June 2017

BOMSS enjoyed a memorable Annual Scientific Meeting at Alton Towers  earlier this year. Chandra Cheruvu as local organiser laid on a fantastic scientific and social programme with several international speakers led by Dr Kelvin Higa (USA), the current President of IFSO. The Training Day was very well received and catered to the needs of all segments of delegates. The content of the meeting was truly multi-disciplinary and, as always, allied health professionals formed a significant number of the delegates. Dr Higa was effusive in his praise when he said the meeting was one of the best he has attended, particularly in terms of the content and the friendly atmosphere.

Shaw Somers took over from Roger Ackroyd as President after the AGM. Roger was thanked for his valuable contribution to BOMSS over the years in various executive positions. Jim Byrne succeeded me as Treasurer.

NBSR – the jewel on our crown – is maturing into a fantastic product and the newly-elected Chair of NBSR, Marco Adamo, is now an Executive Member on BOMSS Council. Marco, along with a new committee, will carry on the excellent work of Richard Welbourn and colleagues. Richard has kindly agreed to continue as Advisor and the new committee greatly values this. There are several work streams in progress including a Version 2 upgrade incorporating NHS numbers, negotiations with Dendrite and HQIP regarding clinical outcomes publications, interface with IFSO global registry (NBSR being one of the largest contributors) and more. We have managed to secure financial contributions from NHS Trusts towards this work and are putting in place dedicated administrative support.

BOMSS gets ready to host IFSO 2017 from 29 August – 2 September at the QE2 Conference Centre in central London. IFSO is the world’s largest annual congregation of professionals involved in management of morbid obesity and it will be a landmark event in our history. The local organising and scientific committees headed by Richard Welbourn and Cynthia Michelle-Borg have done a fantastic job, ably supported by TFI, our professional conference organiser. There will be 10 pre-Congress courses including ones on sleeve gastrectomy and one anastomosis gastric bypass. The gala dinner will be at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich following a cruise along the Thames. I would urge all of you to join and enjoy what promises to be a great experience in every sense.

Over the last 12 months there have been several reports emphasising the role of bariatric / metabolic surgery in treating Type 2 Diabetes. One would have expected this to be associated with an increasing number of operations. Unfortunately NBSR data suggests this is not the case. The revised commissioning guidance (2017) developed by BOMSS and RCS England and endorsed by a number of specialist societies and other Royal Colleges is on our website and will help colleagues in supporting discussions with commissioners. FOI data collated by RCSE has thrown light on the commissioning intent of CCGs

David Kerrigan and Jim Byrne have worked really hard to secure a modest increase in bariatric tariff for 2017-2019. BOMSS Council discussed and agreed that we should continue to work with Monitor and NHSE to ensure there is a fairer uplift going forward from 2019. We will keep members updated on this regularly.

A number of you would have watched Rachel Batterham’s amazing prime time TV programme recently showcasing the benefits of bariatric surgery and the barriers faced in accessing this. Rachel has also been instrumental in setting up the Obesity Empowerment Network and I would urge you all to check out the OEN website to appreciate the good work.

Hearty congratulations to AHP member of council Mary O’Kane on her election as IH Chair of IFSO, in recognition of Mary’s superb work. This is indeed a huge honour for BOMSS as well.

The feedback from delegates at the 2nd BOMSS winter meeting at Corvara in March was excellent in terms of scientific content, discussions, skiing and social programme. Marco is already confirming the venue for early next year and will hopefully be a recurring event on our calendar.

BOMSS and AUGIS executives work very closely and I am grateful to Steve Fenwick for his support and close interaction during my tenure as Treasurer. Our financial position is stable and safe in Jim’s hands. We look forward to delivering an interesting BOMSS parallel session at AUGIS in September 2017

The next BOMSS ASM will be held at the International Convention Centre Telford from 24-26 January 2018. Manel Riera (Shrewsbury) is heading the local organising committee

Have an enjoyable summer and I look forward to seeing all of you at IFSO London in September.