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Monday 21st May 2018

Groundbreaking research launches at the BSG annual meeting

26th February 2009

The results of a major new audit into IBD care will be announced at this year’s annual meeting of The British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) next month. The UK IBD Audit is the first to be performed UK-wide within gastroenterology and seeks to improve the quality and safety by auditing individual patient care, service resources and organisation against national standards.

This year’s event will be held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre Glasgow on 23-26 March. Launching the programme for the meeting today, Professor Chris Hawkey, incoming president of the BSG said: “Patient care is the highest priority for our members. Common standards of care have recently been unveiled by the BSG and other professional and patient groups. The results of this audit will help us to recognise what needs to change and how we can implement these standards.”


The BSG’s current president, Dr. Kel Palmer, will be discussing how best to manage patients presenting with GI Bleeding. Acute Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding is the most common reason for emergency admission to UK hospitals with a gastrointestinal disorder. It also occurs frequently in patients already in hospital for other reasons, and has been shown to carry a particularly high risk of morbidity and mortality. A recent audit into GI Bleeding measured current practice against audit standards for all key areas of management, including transfusion.


Professor Hawkey will be talking for the first time about the UK’s role in ground-breaking international research being carried out to examine the effectiveness of stem cell transportation to treat Crohn’s disease. Talking about the study he says: “Unfortunately, some patients fail to respond to best clinical treatment in Crohn’s disease and some only experience temporary benefit, which is why the search for more effective treatments is continuing.  Recently, an experimental treatment has been developed for severe Crohn’s disease, called ‘high dose immunoablation followed by autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation’.

“We are currently involved in clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of this new treatment, which could give sufferers a new lease of life, in some cases even amounting to a cure.”


A noteable feature of the last year has been the establishment of a national bowel cancer screening programme. Several papers suggest this will save lives. Early indications are that the screening programme, which links testing for blood in the stool to colonoscopy by highly skilled endoscopists, has led to more early cureable cases being diagnosed. The meeting will also see the presentation of remarkable techniques which now allow direct visualisation of the bowel at a microscopic level shows how detection can be even more effective. BSG is in discussion with the national cancer service to get this new generation of endoscopes into practice across the country.

Other highlights of this year’s event include:

  • James IV professorship lecture: Rapid Endoscopic Identification and Destruction of Degenerating Barrett’s Mucosal Neoplasia - Professor Hugh Barr 
  • Therapeutic Modalities for Barrett’s Oesophagus – Professor Christian Ell
  • Small Bowel transplantation - Dr David Grant 
  • Longterm update on surgery for ulcerative colitis (restorative proctocolectomy) – Professor John Nicholls
  • Endoscopy Foundation lecture on delivering endoscopy services – Professor John WIlliams


The annual meeting will also provide the platform for the BSG to launch its new website, which aims to bring the gastroenterology fraternity closer together. Forums for discussion, contact details of fellow members and even a section for unusual cases will all feature on www.bsg.org.uk. Further details of the annual meeting can be found on the site, as well as information on Gastro 2009, which will be held at the London Excel Centre on 21-25 November 2009.

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