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BADS Conference 2023 report

The British Association of Day Surgery (BADS) Annual Conference was held this year in Glasgow, Scotland on 29th and 30th June welcoming over 300 attendees from the UK and abroad. The conference took place at the history Glasgow Caledonian University. Glasgow holds a significant place in the history of Day Surgery, being the birthplace of James Henderson Nicoll (1863-1921), a Scottish Paediatric Surgeon who is considered as the Father of Day Surgery.

After a warm and enthusiastic opening speech from the BADS President, Miss Jo Marsden, the conference programme began with an exceptional talk on the history of paediatric day surgery by Robert Carachi, Professor of Surgical Paediatrics and Head of the Department of Surgical Paediatrics, University of Glasgow. This included a fascinating account of the life of James Nicoll and his belief that inpatient treatment was a waste of hospital resources as he has demonstrated equally good outcomes from children recovering from surgery at home with their families, provided their parents and carers were given the necessary education and information to look after them. Nicoll was clearly ahead of his time in his thinking and his ideas remain a key philosophy supporting modern day surgery. The remaining speakers during this opening session on paediatric day surgery presented some fantastic achievements in providing safe, effective and welcoming day surgery facilities for children. This session also demonstrated how all the  principles relevant to provision of paediatric day surgery are equally relevant to adult day surgery across all surgical specialities.

The second session of the conference showcased examples of experts in their fields providing solutions to problems that continue to be barriers to day surgery across the UK. The SipTilSend initiative on reducing patient fasting times by allowing patients to drink clear fluids until the time of surgery was presented with excellent data demonstrating its feasibility and safety. Other talks included a review of a minimally invasive day-case procedure for pilonidal sinus surgery replacing the traditional open approach and a presentation of short-action spinal anaesthetic use facilitating day case orthopaedic surgery.

The afternoon session on the first day included two free paper sessions with presentation of 12 of the highest-scoring abstracts submitted to the conference this year. This was a great opportunity for delegates to be engaged in the conference and to showcase some excellent work being done to promote excellent in day surgery across the UK in alignment with BADS’ purpose and strategic aims. The afternoon session included separate workshops on paediatric day surgery, day case joint replacement and the SipTilSend initiative.

BADS was delighted to be able to welcome the IAAS President, Carlos Magelhaes to open the second day of the conference. Carlos is a strong advocate of ambulatory surgery and presented his work on minimally invasive abdominal wall surgery and the contribution of such techniques in reducing length of stay. The morning session continued with presentations on the delicate and challenging aspects of providing care and pathways through means of reasonable adjustments for patients with additional needs.

The morning continued with the presentation of the 6 highest scoring conference abstracts in the Prize Paper session which was won by Helena Hanschell representing her team from King’s College Hospital, London, presenting their series of day-case adrenalectomy surgery, being the first centre in the UK to achieve this.

We were delighted to have Carlos Magelhaes deliver the Keynote Lecture on Ambulatory Surgery across the world. He presented a detailed report on the history of the International Association of Ambulatory Surgery and demonstrated the great work that the association is doing to advance day case surgery across the world, particularly in developing countries. He presented a fascinating and inspiring global view of day case surgery and explained the significance and contribution of BADS to international day case surgery.

The final academic session of programme provided presentations from three separate units across England and Scotland providing ground-breaking pathways in day case major joint replacement surgery. There were examples of the benefits of forming new surgical hub as well as developing new pathways in existing units.

The afternoon included the presentation of prizes and a handover from the outgoing BADS President, Jo Marsden to the incoming BADS President, David Bunting. David brought the conference to a close with a speech highlighting the success of the conference, the current status of BADS and its future direction. There were thanks given to those involved in conference organisation/administration, to BADS Council including the outgoing president, and to all the delegates and speakers who had contributed to the conference making it a huge success. A plea was made to delegates to continue their excellent work in promoting excellence and maximising delivery of UK day surgery in line with BADS purpose and core values.

BADS would like to take this opportunity to thank Carlos Magelhaes for travelling to attend and speak at the conference this year and to thank IAAS for its huge contribution to both UK and global ambulatory surgery. BAD continues to further develop and strengthen its relationship with IAAS and is looking forward to contributing to the IAAS conference in Oslo next year.

The BADS Annual Conference next year will be held in Cardiff, Wales on 20th-21st June 2024.

David Bunting


British Association of Day Surgery