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ACADEMIA – South West Higher Surgical Trainees


For further up-to-date information, please register on the facebook page and link to our twitter account where notifications will be highlighted for your interest


Dear all

We would like to invite you to a SPARCS meeting on Thursday 2nd November, 6.30-8pm at Canynge Hall, Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, 39 Whatley Road, BS8 2PS. There will be a talk about designing and conducting surgical trials, and the challenges this brings (useful for ST3 interviews and FRCS!), an update about all the potential research opportunities that are currently available (surgical trials that are about to open, or looking for new centres etc), and an opportunity to discuss your research ideas and get expert feedback.

Food and drinks will be provided!

If you would like to attend, please email by 31st October – to enable us to provide adequate catering.

If you know of any surgical trials or other studies that are looking for more centres, please let us know as we will add them to the list for discussion. If you have a research idea you’d like to discuss, please also email us and we will add it to the agenda.

Looking forward to seeing lots of you there!

Best wishes

Sean Strong, Natalie Blencowe and Jane Blazeby



Severn Deanery Research, Audit and QI meeting November 2017

save the date


Surgical Conferences:

The ASiT conference next year will be held in Bournemouth and takes place from 31st March – 2nd April 2017. Join us for your chance to socialise with over 800 fellow trainees from all 10 surgical specialities, listen to latest updates in clinical practice, training and workforce issues, and hear what the future holds for UK surgical training.

Abstract submission has now opened and there are over 20 prizes and awards to be won, details of which can be found by following the link below:

Please follow the link below to submit your abstract, deadline 16th January 2017.

Find a relevant surgical conference for your speciality here:

Relevant publications, academic network and collaborations can be accessed here

NEWS December 2016

Mammary Fold and the MFAC are delighted to invite you to attend the 2nd Mammary Fold Academic and Research Day in Birmingham on 10th February 2017.
We are planning a fantastic day with a collaborative research showcase, submitted papers and an exciting keynote speaker as well as a poster session.  Further details will follow.
Abstract submission is now open, please see the attached flyer for details.  
Prizes will be awarded for the best poster and oral presentations made by a trainee on the day.
CPD points will be applied for.
The event will be free to attend and lunch and refreshments throughout the day will be provided.
Trainees, consultants, SAS doctors and students from any discipline are very welcome to attend
SPARCS & other collaboratives
The South Yorks group are running a small bowel obstruction audit that’s due to start in January. Many thanks to all of you who have already signed up. There are still spaces in Weston, Swindon, Bath, Yeovil, Exeter, Torbay, Truro and Barnstaple. 
The West Midlands have just launched the protocol for an audit of the treatment of ‘right iliac fossa pain’. This is the follow-on audit from the very successful 2012 Appendicitis Management Audit (6 papers published). It will audit all right iliac fossa pain admissions to evaluate the use of Risk Scoring in a prospective study as well as closing the audit loop on the 2012 study (which is a CCT requirement – potentially an ‘easy win’).
We are aiming to include all hospitals that admit general surgical emergencies across the UK. 
Contributors to either study – that meet the criteria set out in the protocol – will be given pub-med citable authorship in line with previous publications and the ethos of the collaborative movement.
Please contact me on if you would like to join either (or both!) of these projects

NEWS January 2016



Data collection starts 1st February – join the National Margins Audit now

The London Surgical Research Group is excited to invite you to join the National Margins Audit. This project will study national variation in margin practice in breast conserving surgery and margin re-excision rates.

This is an important study which follows ASCO’s endorsement of “no ink on tumour” as an adequate margin in 2014. Wider margins have not been found to be associated with lower local recurrence rates in a meta analysis of 28,000 women following breast conserving therapy. Pursuing wider margins may increase re-excision rates and result in higher complication rates, poor cosmesis, poor patient experience and increased healthcare costs.

There is no clear national or regional consensus on adequate margins in the UK. We hope the results of this audit will help drive an update in national guidelines and result in greater uniformity in margin practice across the UK.

National data collection is between the 1st of February and 31st March 2016. Please contact to register. Further information on this project including the full protocol can be found on the LSRG website and on the National Margins Audit YouTube channel

3. There are still a few places left on a 3 day training course (free!) in surgical trials methodology, run by the Bristol and Oxford RCS Surgical Trials Centres! (flyer and details of how to apply are attached)


4. SARS are running a workshop entitled: “Academic Surgery: How to get ahead”. It’s free for members and only £20 for non-members….


Dear colleague,

We are running an information event on 9 March 2016 in Exeter which offers an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the renewed NIHR RfPB programme.


Registration to this event is FREE and lunch and refreshments will be provided. Places are limited and will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Find out more.

Kind regards,

Russell Holloway

NEWS December 2015

ASIT celebrates 40 years with 40 courses!

6. ASIT award

The recent Lancet Commission on Global Surgery has highlighted the gross deficiencies in surgical care, with an estimated 5 billion people unable to access safe surgery when needed, and an additional 143 million surgical procedures required annually to address this unmet demand. Globally, the poorest 1/3 of the world’s population receives only 6.3% of surgical provision.
To address this need, an ASiT award of £500 (x 3 per year) would be a suitable amount to part-cover airline fares and project costs.
The project should be broadly relating to surgical training in a low-resource setting (a low or middle income country [LMIC] as defined by the World Bank).
To apply for an ASiT Global Surgery Award you need to be a current ASiT member and email after looking at ASIT for more information


There is still time (and places) to register for the inaugural Mammary Fold Academic and Research Day 12th February.
Please register for the free event on the following link:
There is still time (and places) to register for the inaugural Mammary Fold Academic and Research Day 12th February.

Please find attached latest programme

There is still time (and places) to register for the inaugural Mammary Fold Academic and Research Day 12th February.Please register for the free event on the following link:

NEWS September 2015
As part of the ACP Delphi games, we have been working on the management of fistulating perianal Crohn’s disease. In order to improve management we need to have an understanding of current management practice in the UK.

We would like to capture responses from a range of colorectal surgeons in UK hospitals and so we are turning to the collaboratives. We are asking for trainees to help us by encouraging their local consultants to complete the form and then entering results into our REDCAP database.

Collaborative authorship will be offered to all those who return four or more complete responses within the time frame.

If you or your collaborative are interested in supporting this project, please email either Matt ( or Nick ( for further information.

NEWS July 2015

  • Please fill in

it’s an important survey to evaluate research skills in surgical training.

  • Small bites versus large bites for closure of abdominal midline incisions (STITCH): a double-blind, multicentre, randomised controlled trial