News & Interviews

Research Sessions – an interview with Austin Acheson

Austin AchesonContinuing our series of interviews previewing this year’s ACPGBI annual meeting, 9-11 July, we talked to Mr Austin Acheson (Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Nottingham University Hospital, UK and Chair of ACPGBI Research and Audit Committee) who highlighted some of the key topics under discussion during the Research Sessions in Birmingham.

“Research and Audit is such an important part of our annual meeting and although we have a number of pure research sessions there are components incorporated into virtually all sessions in Birmingham,” Mr Acheson explained. “For example, there is a session on Parastomal Hernias on the first morning and this will not only cover currently available treatments but will also update us all on future proposed trials in the field. Similarly, in the emergency surgery session on the Tuesday, we will hear an update on the highlights from the National Audit of Small Bowel Obstruction (NASBO) that many of us contributed data towards.”

In addition, he said that there will be updates from clinical trials that are so important to ACPGBI members and there will be two sessions dedicated to this. The Pelvic Floor Clinical Trials Update Session on Monday will focus on CapaCITY, CLOSE IT, PRoSECCO, DAMASCUS and SUBSONIC clinical trials and there will be a further Trials session on Tuesday afternoon which includes updates on ROCCS, FIAT, LACES , SCOT and IDEA and ELF.

“These sessions confirm how active out research portfolio is with such a wide variety of studies being presented,” he added.

Furthermore, there will also be a number of short research paper sessions and in particular, the six best papers shortlisted for the BJS prize that help showcase the work of trainees. This is in addition to Professor Dion Morton’s BDRF keynote lecture on Tuesday afternoon on, ‘How have randomised trials benefitted patients with colorectal disease’, and the 2020 vision session on the Wednesday morning.

Mr Acheson said that the colorectal research portfolio is looking very healthy and active indeed. The Delphi programme, run through the ACPGBI almost five years ago, has helped developed research priorities and lots of really important clinical trials have stemmed from this process, and many of these trials would certainly not have happened if it was not for this very successful Delphi initiative.

“We all now have an opportunity to enter our patients into these clinical trials and this will undoubtedly improve care for patients in the future. Having a very active clinical trials portfolio is something we as an Association are very proud of – but for it to have most impact – we must now deliver these trials,” he explained. “This is why we as an Association under the leadership of the Research and Audit Committee have designed and developed the Colorectal REsearch And Trial Engagement (CReaTE) roadshows – a joint RCS/ACPGBI initiative that is focusing on delivering research and improving recruitment to portfolio trials.  The aim is to disseminate Delphi projects and the broader colorectal portfolio to ACPGBI members. It will hopefully enthuse members and provide basic training into recruitment to surgical studies and ultimately increase recruitment to trials.”

Mr Acheson said that the ACPGBI plans to run nine roadshows over the next three years and it is hoped that all members will seriously consider attending one of these free CPD events. The locations will cover all areas of UK and Ireland and will be chapter focused.

“In 2018 we have delivered two roadshows to date – one in Northwest/Mersey chapters in March and the second in Scotland in June,” he concluded. “We have future plans for roadshows in the Midlands, Wales and Wessex over the next 12 months and I would really encourage all ACPGBI members to make every effort to attend their local CReaTE roadshow.”


Learn more about the ACPGBI’s Research and Audit activities here

Registration for the meeting here

View the conference programme here