Education, recognition, support and collaboration

International collaboration: RNP receives recognition for its support to  the academic network of Mozambique

The BSGNA has been working on a number of offerings for members, from virtual educational events and a nursing award, to a member assistance programme and collaborations with European colleagues.

These offerings are overseen by the BSGNA’s elected committee. The committee has undergone a number of changes, and the current members are introduced in Table 1 below. Two positions on the committee are open to those with an interest in contributing to the gastrointestinal nursing community.

Name Committee roles
Sarah Marshall Committee chair, programme lead and endoscopy lead
Lindsey Kelsall Joint Advisory Group (JAG) liaison
Shellie Radford Research lead and inflammatory bowel disease nursing lead
Catherine Bilbrough Liver nursing lead
Sara Santos Gastrointestinal Nursing editorial board
Mel Constante MacCallum International lead
Sara Brogden Education lead
Caroline Tapec Clinical Services and Standards Committee (CSSC) liaison
Shaila Kumar Support Women in Gastroenterology (SWiG) liaison
Leigh Donnelly Training lead; European Society of Gastroenterology (ESG) and Endoscopy Nurses and Associates (ESGENA) liaison; Gastrointestinal Nursing editorial board

Table 1. Nurses’ Association committee members

Annual Meeting and Virtual Events

This year’s BSG Annual Meeting will be held online on 8–12 November 2021. The BSG annual meeting is always an opportunity to network, share knowledge, and be inspired, as well as a way to evidence continuing professional development (CPD). Do save the date, and watch this space for the full programme, which will be published shortly.

The BSGNA committee are hard at work planning the content for the nursing sessions, held on Thursday 11 November, with a clinical session at 14:00–16:00 and a workforce and training session at 18:00– 19:00. Some fantastic speakers are already booked in to be presenting on a wide range of engaging gastrointestinal (GI) topics. These sessions will cover inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the pelvic floor, the gut–brain axis, sustainability of services, and capsule endoscopy. These will be joined by abstracts from the top scoring submissions.

The BSG is putting together a programme of other virtual events to support members during these challenging times. The BSGNA committee is discussing the possibility of running a dedicated webinar series for nurses and allied health professionals. Those who are interested can get in touch with suggestions and watch this space for more information.

BSGNA members are encouraged to join these events live, where possible, as this allows attendees to directly interact with speakers and each other. Members can also access videos of previous virtual events on demand to watch after. These replays, alongside supporting documents and resources, are available on the BSG website.

Nursing Award

The BSG has instituted the Nurse Award for Service Development. This award aims to recognise an individual or team that has made a demonstrable impact on GI patient care, and it offers an opportunity to be nationally recognised by colleagues and peers.

The winner(s) will be announced and the award presented at the closing plenary session of the BSG Annual Meeting. Entries will also be published on the BSG website.

Member Assistance Programme

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more crucial than ever to care for those who care for others, and it is vital to open up the conversation about work and mental health. In healthcare, not only does workplace stress affect the physical health and mental wellbeing of clinicians, but this in turn also affects the quality of care provided to patients.

Therefore, the BSG has been providing support for sustaining the mental health and wellbeing of the GI clinical community. For example, occupational burnout can be prevented by facilitating early recognition of associated warning signs, and the BSG has facilitated training to help members recognise these red flags. The range of resources developed by the BSG also includes advice on self-care; signposting to how and where to get help; and relevant and inspiring interviews with members.

The BSG has also recently partnered with Vita Health Group to provide a member assistance programme. Vita Health Group is a fully accredited and award-winning specialist in workplace musculoskeletal and mental health services, and the member assistance programme is a 24/7 confidential service designed to provide practical and emotional support to prevent, address, and support all of life’s issues. All members of the BSG can register for access to the online hub, which offers counselling, information, and advice support services on wellbeing, self-help, and life-management. Vita Health Group’s specially trained legal and information team can help resolve issues around financial, legal, and consumer concerns, while counsellors are on hand to help support people through emotional challenges.

European Collaborations

The BSGNA has reached out to colleagues across Europe and planned collaborations with the European Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Nurses and Associates (ESGENA). Members of the BSGNA are now also registered as members of ESGENA and can enjoy the membership benefits detailed here. For example, members can watch the monthly webinars being offered by ESGENA, either by participating in a live stream or catching up at another convenient time by streaming on-demand.

ESGENA will celebrate its 25th anniversary during United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Week, held virtually on 3–5 October 2021. UEG Week offers an exceptional educational experience for gastrointestinal specialists, with everything from lectures, free paper sessions, and real-time discussions to live endoscopy, electronic posters, and industry symposia. ESGENA will be running a nursing programme, with two nurse-specific sessions per day. BSGNA members are encouraged to take part in this programme at UEG Week, and ESGENA invites nurses from Europe and all over the world to present their experience, studies, and projects. Abstracts should be submitted by 15 July 2021. The first authors of accepted papers will receive a free registration to UEG Week.

Discounted Journal Subscription

The BSG is an official partner of Gastrointestinal Nursing, the leading clinical publication for nurses working in gastroenterology, hepatology, and stoma care. The journal helps specialist nurses improve the quality of life of patients by informing the delivery of evidence-based, cost-effective, and patient-centred care.

All members of the BSG receive an exclusive 25% discount on subscriptions to Gastrointestinal Nursing. Subscribers receive 10 printed journals a year, sharing the latest best practice, research, and guidance, alongside full access to more than 5000 pages of content in the fully searchable online archive. Subscribe here.

Getting Involved

Nurses and allied health professionals in the specialty can join the BSGNA by contacting the membership team at [email protected] The BSGNA’s Twitter account (@BSGNurses) is now at over 1000 followers and offers a forum for lively and informative conversation. Information and resources, from news and events to guidelines and educational materials, can all be found on the BSG website.

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