The Roux Group President

Siobhan McKay
Roux Group President
AUGIS Trainee Representative

Dear Fellow Roux Members,

In both our professional and personal lives we have been living through the most exceptional of times with the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic.  Interaction with our patients, colleagues, family and friends has been rationed and quarantined in a way never anticipated.  Many of us have worked in unfamiliar environments, with new teams and unusual working patters.  We have seem training essentially halted, whilst we have worked within the NHS team to minimise the impact of SARS-CoV-2 as much as possible, and treat critically ill patients.  It has been difficult to witness the unforgiving nature of COVID-19 with the loss of patients, colleagues, and family members, and additionally the parallel-casualties that SARS-CoV-2 has caused with our elective patients having severely rationed care.

I am proud to be a member of the surgical community at a time such as this, where I witnessed colleagues rising to the challenge of COVID-19, and undertaking new training in response to the needs of the nation’s healthcare.  In addition, the UK trainee network has produced world-leading practice-informing research, though collaborations such as the COVIDSurg group, supported by AUGIS, highlighting 38 million elective operations cancelled worldwide, and a 25% mortality rate with peri-operative SARS-CoV-2 infection.

We have evolved from a nation of face-to-face communicators to a virtual zoom-ers, with MDTs and clinic appointments being undertaken virtually.  I am pleased to witness that as the healthcare system has stabilised that training for many has been able to slowly resume with elective services regaining capacity, and virtual media leading the way in the delivery of webinars, virtual conferences, and local teaching.  The new ‘AUGIS App’ has been a great initiative during this period, highlighting guidelines and research projects of importance, and I hope you’ve been able to make the most of this new resource.  And I am excited to announce that on the AUGIS app there will shortly be released educational podcasts specifically tailored to trainees with specialty specific updates, and a focus on material for the exam.

During the pandemic we have been working hard behind the scenes with ASIT and other surgicial specialty organisations to ensure that ARCPs, examinations and selection processes remain as fair and equitable as possible, and have continued to represent your views.

As you know we had to postpone the Roux Weekend in March 2020 due to the rapidly evolving pandemic, and were very grateful to the AUGIS council for their guidance and support with this difficult decision.  We had initially hoped to reschedule to November, but it soon became evident that this was far too soon.  We have therefore re-scheduled the Roux Weekend to March 2021, and it set to be a fantastic training weekend.  We have secured Chesford Grange for pre-weekend courses in HPB, bariatrics and OG on the Friday, and have a bumper programme for Saturday and Sunday – with an extension to the programme on Sunday afternoon to offer a packed schedule of updates, MDTs, FRCS revision, consultant-interview tips, our AGM, and the fantastic Gala dinner.

In-line with the AUGIS council, the Roux committee elections were postponed due to the pandemic, and we will hold election for the Roux committee at the Roux weekend 2021.  I would like to take the opportunity to thank Corinne Owers, our Bariatric Rep, who did an outstanding job in post delivering fantastic training days at the BOMSS conference.  Corinne has stood down as the Bariatrics rep due to undertaking a fellowship in Australia, and Roxanna Zakeri, our very own Roux Weekend organiser-extraordinaire has taken up the interim role as Bariatric Rep until the elections in March.

I hope that you all remain safe and well, and are finding some form of new-normality within your work, and a resumption of training.


Best wishes,