UKSSB Quarterly eBulletin
September 2015




  • BASS - Am Rai
  • BSS - Bob Crawford
  • SBPR - Lisa Roberts 
  • SBNS - Richard Kerr
  • BOA - Alistair Stirling
  • BSR - Mike Hutton
  • Patient Liaison Group - Nick Birch/Linda Pollard
  • Spinal Federation Chair (in evolution)


British Association of Spine Surgeons (BASS)


President – Am Rai


1.    Guidelines for Cauda Equina Syndrome are being developed (awaiting SBNS approval) which we hope to send to all emergency and radiology departments to allow us to collect data to understand and improve the care of CES. 

2.    We are developing generic spinal consents which will be available for BritSpine 2016. We ask for general comment on our discussion forum and will discuss this in the medico- legal forum at BritSpine.

3. We would like to improve the uptake of the British Spinal Registry to 60% of membership (see BSR section.

4. We invite suitably qualified trainees to apply to apply for the BASS/BSS President’s Travelling Fellowship (please see BASS website via UKSSB link).


British Scoliosis Society (BSS)


President – Bob Crawford



A mandatory dataset for complex spinal surgery cases to be entered into the BSR/Tango has been compiled which fulfils the requirements of the NHSE D14 contract and will be published soon.   Charles Greenough has written to the Chief Executives of Trusts to point in out the requirement under this contract to enter complex spine cases on one of these databases so we may anticipate some pressure (and hopefully help) from Trust CEOs in due course.


ASD Guidelines

A thorough literature review is under way with a 3-stage sieving process of about 5,000 papers from year 2000 onwards currently in progress.  An ASD guidelines panel will then do a structured review of the selected papers after which the Delphi consensus process will be applied to establish current norms and guidelines in the management of ASD.



Audit of this device continues.



The new BSS website goes live in October with an increased membership to include a society subscription to the SRS journal “Spine Deformity”.


EUSSAB and affiliated membership for BSS

There seems no reason for the BSS not to affiliate with EUSSAB and hence the Spine Society of Europe. It may enable us to promote better representation for spine deformity in the Europe-wide spine surgery educational structure which is being developed.


Society for Back Pain Research (SBPR)


President – Lisa Roberts


The annual meeting 'Biological factors in non-specific back pain' is taking place at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic, Bournemouth on 5th-6th November 2015.  The keynote sessions are:

  • 'The biopsychosocial model: Time for a new back pain revolution?' Professor Maurits van Tulder
  • 'Challenges in researching the importance of biology in back pain' Professor Mark Hancock
  • 'Back pain - too many degrees of freedom?' Dr Judith Meakin
  • 'Disc degeneration: The how and why' Professor Sally Roberts


We are also eagerly anticipating the outcome of the debate: 'Non-specific low back pain is a valid concept' with Professor Charles Greenough and Mrs Elaine Buchanan speaking for the motion and Professor Wim Dankaerts and Mr Nick Birch against.  It promises to be a lively debate!

For further details about registration please see the website www.sbpr.info.


Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS)












Sep 2014-Sep 2016





Sep 2015-Sep 2016





Sep 2014-Sep 2015

Hon Treasurer




Oct 2013-Oct 2017

Hon Secretary




Sep 2015-Sep 2019

Meetings Secretary




Sep 2014-Sep 2018

Neurosurgical National Audit Programme




9-11 Sep 2015




20-22 Apr 2016




21-23 Sep 2016





Suzanne Murray



Alix Gordon



Carole Turner (Research)



British Orthopaedic Association (BOA)


Alistair Stirling


PMI/Private Provider Engagement

Following agreement that initial contact needed to be with private providers rather than the PMI in order to gain a better appreciation meetings are being arranged for the President/and or another member of the Executive with the following organisations:

­  BMI
­  Circle Health
­  Nuffield Health
­  Spire


News from American Orthopedic Association

-  Bundled care payment system

Combines payment for primary joint replacement and any necessary revision sharing any financial gains between purchaser and provider to act as incentivisation. ?potential role in spinal surgery


ESPs and Physician Assistants

A full session was devoted to extended scope practitioners and physicians assistants who appear to fill the same role, but from different backgrounds and working best as a hybrid system. ?UK application


FSSA Proceedings

-  ?British Surgical Association

Discussion of possible “surgical“ BMA. Following the recent BSA survey, over 1,400 responses had been received, 90% of which were in favour of a new society. This information relayed to the BMA.



The FSSA expressed concern over effectiveness of FIPO given recent PHIN and other private practice developments. The FSSA website was becoming more active, and the ‘Doctors in Difficulty’ report and the response to the 7 day working had been uploaded.



Implementation guidance, including guidance on a unit approach to optimum volumes of procedures is currently in development with leadership from BOA Executive and in consultation with the BOA Specialist Societies.


Monitor Optimum Elective Care Workshop

The aim of the project is to identify what the optimum care models look like through reviewing international and national models. It was clear that the project would provide useful support for ring fenced beds.



Implant procurement is an ongoing issue with vast variation in prices paid. Pricing data is available in the NJR which will act as a useful monitoring tool.


GMC Fitness to Practice

The BOA will be responding to a GMC consultation on the adjudication of fitness to practice cases.


ARMA Clinical Networks Project

The ARMA Clinical Networks Project has been re-focused and will now deliver a knowledge network allowing commissioners and clinicians to share best practice.



-       Working with MSK Conference
-       The recent ARUK working with MSK Conference was largely focused on RA patients despite ARUK’s otherwise growing attention to OA. It was time to refocus the BOA’s contribution to ARUK’s Research Strategy by means of a refresh of our membership of their Scientific Strategy Committee.


Shape of Training

To help implement SHoT, the RCSEng Committee to improve surgical training, is developing ideas for BootCamps, cadaveric workshops and simulation to improve training at CT. The BOA Education Board will propose an expansion to T and O to allow training to be faster.


BOA Clinical Leaders Programme

The programme now has 20+ confirmed names and we are expecting more to be confirmed in the coming weeks


British Spine Registry (BSR)

www.spineregistry.co.uk (Data Input)
http://bsrcentre.org.uk (Information Website)
Mike Hutton


The British Spine Registry has undergone a number of changes and is about to undergo more.

There is a new look user interface and I would encourage those that have looked at the registry before to take another look.

There is a move to make use of the registry mandatory for all spinal surgical cases with payment being withheld by CCGs and NHS England respectively.

I would, therefore, implore units to get themselves up and running as soon as possible.

Any unit needing assistance in doing so can contact me (audit@spinesurgeons.ac.uk) to arrange a team registry visit, providing a free and independent report on ‘how to set up the registry for your unit’ or to work uploading existing data onto the registry again.



UKSSB Patient Liaison Group (PLG)

Linda Pollard
by Nick Birch - Treasurer
Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 14.10.41.png





The UK Spine Societies Board (UKSSB) is pleased to announce that Linda Pollard, CBE, JP, DL has accepted the position of Chair of the newly formed Patient Liaison Group (PLG).

Linda has very wide experience in the UK Healthcare sector, commerce, academia and the Criminal Justice Service.

Currently she is the Chair of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, having previously chaired the Bradford NHS Foundation Trust, the West Yorkshire SHA, Bradford Care Trust and the Leeds/Bradford/Airedale PCT. She is also a Board Trustee of the Leeds Hospitals Charity Foundation.

Until 2014 she was the Chairman/Pro-Chancellor of the University of Leeds and was honoured by the University with the award of Doctor of Law in 2013.

Linda is the National Chairman of An Inspirational Journey and the national Two Percent Club - an organisation that professionally supports women in the corporate world. Shewas previously Deputy Chair of Yorkshire Forward (the Regional Development Agency).

She is an experienced business entrepreneur having held several directorships and has extensive corporate understanding and was the Regional Chair of Coutts Bank for six years until 2014.

The PLG will reflect the very successful model created by the BOA (www.boa.ac.uk/patient-information/a-brief-history-of-the-plg/). Its primary aims, like those of the BOA PLG, will be to introduce lay representatives to the work of the UKSSB and, through their advice, support the patient-doctor relationships that are key to the delivery of spinal care in the UK. With the current significant political pressures within the NHS, particularly in our specialty, this has never been more important. Lay input is now an integral part of the development of guidelines, patient pathways and commissioning. With Linda’s guidance and assistance, the UKSSB will join the BOA and similar organisations leading the drive for enhanced public/professional healthcare co-operation and development.




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