Promoting high standards through education and research and we advise other professional bodies on anaesthesia for children.
Dear APA Members
Update 24th June 2020
While the peak of the COVID pandemic seems to have passed, and pressures are easing within most hospitals, there remains a level of uncertainty about the medium term. There is an ongoing presence of COVID within hospitals and communities and variation in its prevalence across regions within the UK. Hospitals and regions are developing plans to restart elective surgery based on framework guidance released by NHSE and the various Royal Colleges. The extent to which non-urgent surgery in children can be restarted is dependent on local factors, such as workforce availability, competing priorities in trusts and also the prevalence of the virus in the local population.
The latest helpful information on managing theatre processes between COVID surges can be accessed via the RCoA website here:
The challenges in restarting paediatric surgery are different from those faced in the range of adult services. When planning surgery for a single child, the whole family unit must be considered. These plans may have a significant impact on children returning to education and also parents restarting work.
The APA, both independently and in conjunction with the RCPCH and other organisations, has been involved in conversations with NHSE and Simon Kenny (National Clinical Director for Children) in recent weeks. Under Professor Kenny's instruction, we have now convened a small representative group of interested stakeholders to develop some specific and pragmatic guidance for the restart of children's surgery. This will look at the entire patient pathway and take into account the impact of our recommendations on parents, carers and the wider family. We hope to provide evidence-based advice and consensus where evidence is lacking on pre-assessment, testing, isolation and the complete hospital pathway for the child and their parent/carer. We intend to publish this within the next 3 weeks.
We also hope to share examples of pre-assessment and theatre pathways on our website and other resources for children and parents during this time of working with COVID-19.
In other matters, we have been exploring the virtual world in order to try and mitigate the lack of CPD opportunities that we are all currently facing and to provide some elements of the postponed London Annual Scientific Meeting to members. We will be running an afternoon webinar on Monday 21st September to provide an opportunity for those selected to deliver oral abstracts to the London meeting to give these on line together with a couple of selected presentations from the London programme. Further details will follow shortly. We intend to follow this up with a virtual Linkman meeting in November.
Finally, we are obliged to run an Annual General Meeting as this is enshrined within our Articles, or provide a reasonable explanation to Companies House and the Charities Commission as to why this has not taken place. We have taken advice and the COVID-19 pandemic would be regarded as a reasonable explanation. However, we are exploring the possibility of using the Association of Anaesthetists webinar system to run a virtual AGM before September and we hope that this will enable us to conduct some of the formal business required of our Association and also provide the opportunity for information sharing and engagement with members that has been lacking as result of the postponed ASM. An Annual Report and our audited Accounts will be published in the coming weeks in anticipation of this. Further details of the AGM and autumn term webinars will be published in due course.
In the meantime enjoy the weather amidst the relative easing of COVID demands and stay safe.