Research takes centre stage at #ACPGBI2021

22 July 2021

The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland(ACPGBI)’s Annual Meeting is a gathering of the UK’s top surgeons, nurses and other healthcare professionals in the field of bowel disease.

It is also an opportunity to showcase life-changing and life-saving research, discuss new and established methods of treatment, and improve best practice in patient care.

This year marked Bowel Research UK’s debut appearance at the conference.

Below is a recap of the conference, with a selection of the best tweets and reaction from social media.

Day one

On day one of the conference we launched our new information leaflet, pin badges and other ways to support us.

Our Co-Chair Asha Senapati, a past President of ACPGBI, also addressed delegates to recap our launch campaign and announce our commitment to working shoulder to shoulder to fund and deliver world class research. Our inaugural grant round will award at least 50% of our funding to ACPGBI members, cementing our partnership.

Day two

Day two opened with a Research Forum, chaired by Bowel Research UK Trustee Jim Tiernan and kicked off with a powerful presentation from our other Co-Chair Paul Reynolds. Paul shared his own personal history with bowel cancer, and thanked the researchers who had made his successful treatment possible. His rallying call was well received by surgeons online, and sets us up for a fantastic future.

The research forum itself was incredibly inspiring, showcasing projects and research teams that had shown enormous resilience during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite all the challenges, so much has been achieved. Projects funded by Bowel Research UK as well as many others were on show, and we were extremely proud of the contributions being made to improve the lives of patients at such a difficult time.

We also saw the presentation of the ACPGBI & BRUK joint venture – a research trials app that is under development. Work on this is proceeding, and an update was provided to delegates by Dale Vimalachandran.

After the research forum concluded, we moved on to the Patient Liaison Group session, shining a light on the mental wellbeing of people with bowel disease and those who look after them. An amazing session that focussed squarely on the human element of medical care. Our Director of Research and PPIE Lesley Booth was on the bill, discussing our People and Research Together initiative, with more fantastic speeches from surgeons and PLG members.

Rounding off day two from a Bowel Research UK perspective was the inaugural Bowel Research UK Lecture, delivered by world-renowned researcher Professor Sue Clark. Before our merger, the BDRF Lecture had been established as an annual feature in the ACPGBI Calendar, and this legacy has been continued.

Sue’s lecture introduced the aims and values of our organisation and our strategic approach to making a difference through research. It was a fantastic highlight of an extremely successful conference.

Day three

The third and final day of conference saw an excellent Hunterian Lecture from Peter Vaughan-Shaw. This focussed on the relationship between Vitamin D and bowel cancer. We are delighted to have funded some of Peter’s important research in this field.

Finally, Steve Brown handed over the Presidency of ACPGBI to Pete Sagar. We paid tribute to Steve for his exceptional leadership during an incredibly difficult year for healthcare professionals and patients, and look forward to working with Pete on the challenges of the future.

All in all, an immensely successful virtual meeting. We can’t wait to see everyone, hopefully in person, in Edinburgh next year.