Welcome to BSPGHAN


A Christmas message to BSPGHAN members from the President

I wanted to wish all our members Seasons Greetings and wish you well for the coming New Year. I hope that you all have a restful break with family and friends. Read more here


A welcome to BSPGHAN from the President


Welcome to the British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (known as BSPGHAN), the national, professional and academic society which represents specialty colleagues working for infants, children and young people with digestive and liver disorders.

Who we are
BSPGHAN is a society that brings together colleagues from a range of professional disciplines and is recognised by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) as the society responsible for this field of paediatric medicine.

BSPGHAN’s membership  is renowned for its friendliness and inclusivity. Membership stands at around 500 members, comprising consultants and specialist trainees in paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition;  affiliated health care professionals such as specialist dieticians, nurses, pharmacists, clinical psychologists and scientists. This breadth of membership is a great benefit to the society and the wide range or professionals serve to represent our models of care for families. BSPGHAN has Professional groups and Working Parties to advocate for the key issues that our patients face.

BSPGHAN’s aims
BSPGHAN supports clinical research, training and education for all our members with the aim of promoting optimal care for our patients. BSPGHAN encourages collaboration and open dialogue.  As BSPGHAN has grown, our ability to provide professional leadership and influence stakeholders such as healthcare commissioners, providers at local, regional and national levels, and national bodies such as the RCPCH and NICE, has increased. BSPGHAN links with partners including patients and families, children’s charities and industry to deliver its agenda.

BSPGHAN’s meetings
BSPGHAN encourages opportunities for the dissemination of research results by a number of meetings for members. We have an Annual meeting each `winter with the aim of promoting research, sharing information on innovative methods of working. We encourage colleagues across the country to disseminate their knowledge and experience so we can facilitate more effective outcomes for our patients. We also support an annual joint meeting for Trainees and Associate members.

BSPGHAN Strategy
We hold a regular Strategy Day to ensure that BSPGHAN has a clear vision of where the society should be, and we use this strategy to achieve our aims.

Strategic priorities have emerged to reach our vision for services in paediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition.

BSPGHAN’s Research

The society prides itself on its commitment to fund research. BSPGHAN has worked in partnership with patient, professional and corporate partners, to help transform the way care is delivered by ensuring that we support the best available clinical and scientific evidence to be implemented in practice. We have funded a number of Joint Awards such as the BSPGHAN/GUTS UK Research Award, BSPGHAN/CLDF research Grant, BSPGHAN/Crohn’s and Colitis UK Start-up Research Grant, as well as the BSPGHAN Start-up Research Grant and BSPGHAN Innovation Grant. 

It is increasingly important to carefully consider the way that BSPGHAN funds research and education and the challenging issues that come with support for research from corporate partners and we look forward to an open debate about t

BSPGHAN setting the standards: Improving clinical outcomes, reducing variation in care and promoting networks
BSPGHAN, along with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) developed guidance in 2016 to aim to improve our clinical services. Together we are working to establish important support networks for our membership.

How we set the standards
Extensive consultation with children and their families together with input from key stakeholders helped produce the key set of standards. These are  designed  to reduce variability in care, and offer services that are high quality, safe and effective, which  are available to all children and families. The standards are intended for healthcare professionals and for service commissioners to plan, deliver and quality assure services in every region.

BSPGHAN Quality Standards Committee is committed to start work on appraising services to support commissioners and service planners across the UK to implement the standards to ensure that high quality and consistent care is provided to all children with 24/7 advice  available from network centres.  

BSPGHAN Members / Council / Working Groups / Administration.
We are grateful for the committed team of individuals on BSPGHAN Council who are responsible for the strategic aims of the Society, financial planning, liaison with stakeholders such as the Department of Health, the  Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and other key stakeholders. Council encourages the patient parent voice and the presence of a representative on Council is a vital interface with patient support groups and charitable partners. Council and Professional groups are supported by Working Groups, and we are all supported by our administrator. We think carefully about the sustainability of our society, and how Council and the Working Groups can better support achieving our goals. 

BSPGHAN- Training and workforce
BSPGHAN recognises the importance of keeping up to date, sharing education, publishing and adopting evidence-based guidelines. There are numerous challenges around training and service provision, so a key relationship is with our partner organisation, the College Speciality Advisory Committee, (the CSAC) within our Royal College who are responsible for setting doctors training curriculum and assessment. Working side by side with CSAC and the RCPCH is key to our ability to bring about positive change.  BSPGHAN aims to actively promote exemplars of good practice regarding solutions to workforce training and team development, such as model job plans for new staff and  promoting national and regional network meetings to share guidance and pathways of care.

BSPGHAN is renowned as a productive and well-respected society. It can only remain successful by colleagues continuing to contribute and work together in partnership; and your contribution is valuable. Please review the pages of our website to see if you wish to join a working Party of Professional group or Council and feel free to raise any ideas or queries that you have to help shape our agenda.  If you would like more information or to be more involved, please do get in touch with our administrator  http://carla@bspghan.org.uk

Sue Protheroe
President of BSPGHAN 2019-2022

A brief history of BSPGHAN (November 2013)
Our specialty in the UK is less than a generation old.  Some 40 years ago a handful of paediatric clinical scientists began undertaking research in to diseases affecting the gut and liver in children and young people, and the specialty was born thanks to their initiative and drive.  The British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (BSPGN) held its inaugural meeting in 1986, with less than 50 members and,  from its inception,  the Society has enjoyed the reputation of rigorous scientific endeavour but, just as important, friendship and inclusivity.  Thankfully, both of these have endured ever since.  Hepatology was formally added to the title of the Society in the 1990’s and, important, BSPGHAN was one of the first scientific societies to appreciate the important role of allied health professionals in the medical care of children. In recognition of this the section of Associate Members within the BSPGHAN first met as a group at the winter meeting in 2000, and subsequently have become important and valued colleagues within the Society, highlighting the fact that clinical care must be built around families and this, by necessity, involves a multi-disciplinary team. It is a particular strength that the friendliness and mutual support the Society is renowned for has not diminished in the slightest. Long may it flourish.

Huw Jenkins
Past BSPGHAN President, November 2013