BAPRAS Winter Scientific Meeting 2018 Summary

13th December 2018


From the President

A record number of delegates attended our Winter Meeting at the Queen Elizabeth 2 Centre, a superb centre: to those of you who came, I hope very much that you enjoyed it, and to those who were unable to be there, sadly you missed a great meeting with many outstanding presentations.

There were many highlights for me but there were two that I was particularly pleased with: the increased presence of trainees and input from PLASTA, and the inaugural all-day session on Friday for plastic surgery nurses, therapists and allied healthcare professionals. The new PLASTA committee really upped their game at the meeting, as you can read below in the piece below by Robert Staruch, PLASTA President. Although I initiated the nurses' meeting the hard work was done by two close colleagues in Leicester, Reena Agarwal, plastic surgeon and BAPRAS Council member, and Claire Porter, senior clinical nurse specialist. They put together an excellent programme that attracted over 100 team members. Thank you to Reena and Clare, and I hope that this session will continue in future meetings.

BAPRAS 2018 Mcindoe (15 of 30)

BAPRAS 2018 Mcindoe (19 of 30)

There is not enough space to mention all the outstanding speakers, but I highlight those who gave the two named lectures and the international speakers. Sarah Pape gave an outstanding McIndoe Lecture looking back on her career in burns, with insightful reflections from which members of all vintages could benefit. Mark Clemens, plastic surgeon and international authority on BIA-ALCL, gave a dynamic John Potter lecture on that topic, perfect timing only a few days after the media storm on implant safety. We were very lucky also to have the other brilliant international speakers, Fiona Wood, Ed Buchel, and Keith Bryant, accompanying a wealth of home-grown experts.

A good meeting on which to complete my Presidential tenure - thank you very much to Helen and the Secretariat for organising and running the meeting.

David Ward
BAPRAS President 2017 – 18


A Trainees Perspective – Robert Staruch – PLASTA President

BAPRAS Winter Meeting 2018 will be remembered for many things, the President dressed up as Q, The BFIRST Ball, the excellent conference venue but for PLASTA it will be the first year we upscaled our presence with BAPRAS.

The Winter meeting is, to many, one of the highlights of the UK Plastic surgery scene, with a chance to hear about fellow colleagues’ work, catch up with old friends and establish new connections. This year’s meeting, with a change of venue, was a refreshing new direction for all involved.

PLASTA has been undergoing a metamorphosis over the past 4 months. BAPRAS Winter meeting was therefore seen as the opportunity to showcase how the committee wanted the organisation to function in the future. Our week started very much on Tuesday where we ran a national training day for a broad range of surgeons – from medical students through to senior post CCT Trainees. Over 70 delegates attended CV Workshops, a Question Time Q&A Session, Aesthetic session and an afternoon of Fellowship talks from 11 different speakers covering experiences across the globe. The event was followed by a sponsored networking drinks reception.

We transitioned from our base at the Gordon museum to a stand at Winter BAPRAS where trainees could ask questions, find out what we’ve been up to, get a free Lanyard (and a free glass of Prosecco if they had passed FRCS(Plast) this year!). This is the first time PLASTA has had a stand and it is something we are looking forward to continuing.


Our aim this year was to raise awareness of key issues that are being talked about both by other specialities and at the GMC. Furthermore, we wanted to increase integration about issues between trainees and trainers. On the Thursday lunchtime we ran the ‘Act It Out’ Bullying and harassment session – where delegates were treated for tickets, free popcorn and the sight of Mr Simon Eccles trampling a trainee’s phone on stage – much to the shock of the Audience. The session brought awareness about bullying within our ranks and lead to a thoughtful and insightful discussion and sharing session where trainers and trainees shared their experiences and thoughts. This was a key session for us both as trainees as an organisation as it allowed the first real open discussion between these groups on this topic. It was amazing to watch and well received by all those attended. As a format, the bullying and harassment play/session represented a novel method for introducing topic and debate at our national conference – a format I hope we continue to exploit in future meetings.

Our Friday lunchtime session aimed to tackle the concept of those who manage two careers on one timetable – coined ‘The Juggling Club’. It also served to highlight some issues regarding less than full time training. This session, led by members of our committee and consultant body, highlighted both the challenges and the efforts being taken by our colleagues to live a full life. Again, it shed light on an important issue to our colleagues and tackled this with a novel format.

Outside of the PLASTA lead sessions there were some excellent speakers and sessions. The discussion on consent within the medicolegal session was important for all those delivering plastic surgery care. The popular innovation section delivered thought provoking speakers, including from Amazon, that provides long term food for thought and inspiration for delivering high quality future practice. The clinical trials session lead by the RSTN was a particular highlight this year. Not only did it demonstrate the increasing capability of the RSTN to deliver high quality thorough trials on clinical care delivery, but also highlighted how this family is open to all types of trainees – regardless of their academic aspirations. A keynote speech by one trainee demonstrated the learning and mentoring approach delivered to her to lead her through the establishment of her own trial and grant funding. The growth and importance of this organisation as an adjunct to our clinical practice cannot be underestimated and I hope to see more trainees getting involved in the delivery of RSTN lead trials. Complimentary to this was a high-quality set of Basic science research lectures, particularly from groups in Scotland, Wales, Oxford and London – highlighting the breadth of high-quality bench side research that is being undertaken in all parts of the United Kingdom.

As the voice and strength of our training organisation continues to grow, I hope that the number of sessions with open debate between all levels of our surgical team (trainees and trainers) increases. Adding further parallel sessions, debates, interactive sessions and panels to our winter meeting can only serve to improve the learning experience for all and the collaboration in advancing our speciality.

We at PLASTA look forward to Summer and Winter BAPRAS 2019!

Rob Staruch
PLASTA President


Back to list page