Delegates to the annual ESCP Meeting later this month will have the opportunity to hear from not one, but two experts in the field of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) when they attend the ESCP/ECCO symposium on ulcerative colitis.

Ailsa Hart and Omar Faiz
Ailsa Hart and Omar Faiz


Professor Ailsa Hart and Professor Omar Faiz will jointly present at the ESCP/ECCO Symposium on Ulcerative Colitis, 15:25 Thursday 27 September. The duo, who both work out of St Mark’s Hospital in London, UK, will tackle the subject from each of their specialised areas, providing both gastroenterological and surgical perspectives.

Professor Ailsa Hart is a Consultant Gastroenterologist at St Mark’s and Sub-Dean of St Mark’s Hospital Academic Institute. In 2016 she achieved academic promotion with Imperial College and is now Professor of Practice.

Professor Omar Faiz is the Clinical Director and a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at St Marks Hospital and Professor of Practice at Imperial College. Professor Faiz’s areas of clinical interest within colorectal surgery are the surgical management of IBD, hereditary cancer syndromes, colorectal cancer, and proctology.

Discussing their upcoming presentation in Nice, Professor Hart comments,

“It is important to consider this issue from both a gastroenterological and surgical perspective. ‘Centralisation’ in this case is ultimately about driving up the quality of patient care.”

Professor Faiz adds,

“In many aspects of surgery the volume-outcome effect means the more you do, generally, the better the outcome. Research demonstrating a volume-outcome relationship has resulted in regionalisation of complex cancer surgery to high-volume hospitals in some countries. This raises the question with IBD and whether centralisation is advantageous or disadvantageous for patients.”

Professor Hart points out that centralisation can be considered at a national level to help drive up the quality of care, but also centralising services within your own hospital is important. She says:

“300,000 people in the UK are living with IBD, which is around 2000-4,000 per Healthcare Trust. These statistics point to the need for local and accessible support for patients; access to the right services, whether gastroenterological, surgical, nutritional or psychological and where appropriate patient self-management.”

Professor Faiz adds that from a surgical perspective, a lot comes down to the type of surgery that is required for a patient, and what procedures can be handled locally or nationally. He says:

“The specifics of this issue are challenging. For example, one has to consider the level of complexity of the surgeries that are required. Some surgeons will not be comfortable offering some more challenging procedures and may be more comfortable referring them to a specialist centre. Essentially, it is quality that needs to be at the centre of any decision.”

One theme that is prevalent throughout the upcoming Annual ESCP Conference is that of patient-involvement in their care, particularly for chronic diseases. Professor Hart, who is also the UK Lead for patient and public involvement in gastroenterology and is a member of the committee for the charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK, commented,

“Patients need to contribute to designing services for chronic disease management. When we ask patients to list what they want, they tell us: easy access to care; a team delivering personalised and joined-up care; participation in decision-making so that they can make informed choices with a clear plan in place.”

Cases of IBD continue to grow amongst children and young adults, particularly those in their teens and early twenties.

“IBD is particularly challenging for younger people,” states Professor Hart. “It means they have a long journey of chronic disease ahead of them as they make their way through the rest of the life.”

This sentiment is backed up by Professor Faiz. He says,

“This is extremely true from a surgical perspective it is about providing the patient with procedures that will enhance their quality of life. The outcomes of surgery can have massive ramifications for the individual’s education, career or relationships. The stakes are very high in that regard.”

Professor Hart and Professor Faiz’s presentation in Nice will help put the spotlight on the issue and the need to put efforts behind hospital initiatives to make services work most efficiently for patients.

Book your place at the 13th Scientific and Annual meeting of ESCP in Nice here

ESCP/ECCO Symposium: Ulcerative Colitis - 15:25, Thursday 27 September 2018

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