UKSSB Quarterly eBulletin
June 2016




Alistair Stirling (UKSSB Chair)


Current and future challenges and opportunities


Very many thanks for a really excellent meeting go to all of our BritSpine hosts in Nottingham and in particular to Nas Quraishi, Nick Birch, and the programme committee. Also to all of those contributing by marking abstracts and posters which is both time consuming and essential.
Once again we were very well served by Archie Yates Associates as conference organisers. Also by Julia Bloomfield and Lenka Nahodilova. The participant feedback is included below.

This year for the first time the meeting also focused on current service developments and service implementation (Spine Strategy 2020 and the NHSE Improving Spinal Care Project (ISCP) implementation meeting on Friday afternoon). The recommendations from this are listed below. It is hoped this will have provided useful background as this project is rolled out through England.
The patient participation Friday afternoon session introduced in Warwick in 2014 once again proved very popular and is also abstracted below.

Given the response it is intended to include similar sessions in future meetings.
Each society also provided excellent and highly relevant guest sessions resulting in important cross-fertilisation. These are referred to in the Society updates below.

It has probably never been more important to understand the broad context in which we are now working and the potential changes this may bring. For this reason and for those unable to attend BritSpine a summary of Allyson Pollock’s thought provoking presentation about the presently worrying developments in the NHS is included below. Similarly there is a link to a briefing paper by the BOA policy unit about current changes in the law with impact on health service provision. Reflecting parallel evolution in Europe an abstract is included from a presentation given at the European Spinal Societies Advisory Board in Krakow in May.

Past presidents of the BOA (Colin Howie) and SBNS (Rick Nelson) gave excellent presentations about the very considerable and essential work our overarching societies provide challenging us all to get involved to contribute to the future development of our profession.

At the present time apathy or resignation is an easy way out perhaps ducking generic professional responsibility. As the junior doctors have just demonstrated thoughtful representation (and finally action) is in the end respected and can and should bring about change helpful to our patients. Spinal care will be optimised by collaborative development with medical and allied health partners. The current improving spinal care initiatives provide that opportunity, in primary care with the national low back and radicular pain pathway and in secondary care with the regional networks template. Do you know what is happening in your area and are you involved? If not , this might in retrospect be a missed opportunity but it is not too late.