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President’s Bullet Point Bulletin – 4th April 2020

Updated on: 17 Apr 2020   First published on 03 Apr 2020

Author:  Dr Cathryn Edwards 

3rd April 2020

Trying to keep your finger on the pulse of national specialty activity in the rapidly changing COVID-19 environment is difficult. I really hope you are all able to give some focus to your personal well-being each day. Looking after yourself in order to look after others has to be the priority for us all.

This ‘bullet point bulletin’ shares what the BSG is doing and is planning to do to support our members, the wider GI community and our patients.

Protecting Service Providers and Patients

  • BSG has successfully lobbied to protect patients and staff through a simple early mandate to PAUSE endoscopy activity to mitigate contagion risk and preserve the PPE supply (see here)
  • Further Guidance on service provision and support will follow
  • BSG is supporting and reviewing with RCP (London) national discussions on PPE supply and its provision for all. Help identify PPE supply issues and concerns by feeding back centrally via this RCP link:
    Tell us if you are unable to access the appropriate PPE
  • Risk Grids identifying ‘At Risk’ groups on immunosuppression. This is a clinical advice tool available for use by clinicians: click here and here to access the latest risk stratification tools for IBD and hepatology ‘At Risk’ groups
  • Healthcare professions who fall into ‘At Risk’ categories are supported by a BSG advisory on working practice and ‘clean space’ issued with the Faculty of Occupational Medicine
  • BSG is advocating large scale COVID-19 testing for staff to protect patients the public and health care providers

Sustainability for the BSG as an organisation  

  • We have minimised BSG operations to ensure financial and operational stability during the immediate crisis
  • The function of the Society is being supported by a small group of Senior Officers and Councillors with input from specialty consensus groups as required
  • Governance is reviewed and supported by the BSG Trustee Board as operational practice is modified

The Society has been placed on this emergency footing to permit sustainable delivery of service to members in the following prioritised areas:

  • Effective clear and consensus driven communications on COVID-19 related areas of practice and service provision
  • Research facilitation and support of digital resources to promote the dissemination of relevant COVID-19 related knowledge as it pertains our specialty of patient groups
  • Rapid publication of emerging knowledge and consensus practice through our Journals Gut, Frontline Gastroenterology and Open Gastroenterology

Collaborative Leadership

  • The BSG is working with the Royal Colleges, CRN National Specialty Groups, other Speciality Societies, JAG, third sector partners the IBD registry Group, BASL and the devolved government administrations for health (where possible directly)
  • BSG continues to support our international colleagues in their approach to GI service provision in their own countries ( New Zealand, South Africa) and have this week disseminated widely public health information resources on COVID-19 for low and middle income countries, produced by our colleagues at BMJ and the University of Cape Town

A regular bullet point bulletin will be sent to you personally to update you with the situation as it unfolds. The BSG welcomes your feedback to comms@bsg.org.uk or president@bsg.org.uk

In signing off, I’d like to share a short quote, which made me smile and reflect again on how even under these difficult circumstances we need to take some time out for ourselves…

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”


With my best regards


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