It has been a challenging year, overshadowed by the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the health service, cancer services, clinical practice and professional education. It will take some time before the true effect of the pandemic on cancer and healthcare is really understood, but we can all be proud of maintaining the delivery of care, meeting the complex needs of our patient groups and supporting our colleagues.
We have a new Committee in place and we are developing a strategy for the year ahead and beyond. We are proud to sit on the AUGIS Council and are keen to raise the profile of Nursing and AHPs within AUGIS. There are many challenges ahead, which require a high level of commitment within our own busy working and personal lives.
One of the more pressing issues is to look at ways to improve overall membership of Nurses and AHPs to AUGIS. How do we engage new members? How can we be more inclusive and how can we look at ways to improve AUGIS so that everyone wants to join?
Regional representatives need to be appointed to vacancies on the Sub-Committee to represent our professions in the regions and nationally. We would like to see an emphasis on collaboration of AUGIS members at local and national level, whereby the Regional Specialist Nurse and AHP representatives work closely together with the Regional Council representatives and the Roux (surgical trainee) representatives. We share a common interest in improving patient services and providing professional support across all members of AUGIS with the very clear aim of promoting excellence in our field through collaboration and education.
Identifying the educational needs of nurses and AHPs is vital, so that the Committee can provide an Educational Calendar, provide opportunities for networking, mentorship and peer support. We welcome ideas for webinars and courses, a programme of educational events and also for the Annual Scientific Meeting.
A successful UGI Congress was held in Belfast 2021 and the affiliate programme enjoyed fantastic presentations on the value of the Specialist Nurse role in a referring centre, and the Northern Ireland experience of prehabilitation, amongst others. Bernie and the Birmingham team stepped in at the last moment with an inspired presentation on “The Third Space”!
This year, the AUGIS Annual Scientific Meeting will be held in Aberdeen and the Affiliate Programme will feature excellent presentations ranging from the key messages of immunotherapy, failure to thrive and to the importance of informed consent. The programme will compliment the main programme nicely and will allow opportunities for networking academically and socially.
A review of the web-site is planned so that it can provide an up to date forum to disseminate information and to share best practice. The aim is to include an Educational Calendar and a Webinar Platform with an archive of presentations with links to other educational establishments, other societies and patient groups.
It is a great honour for us to represent the interests of the nursing profession and the allied health professions within AUGIS .
Anne-Margrethe Phillips, Bernadette Fairley and Liz Ward
Leads for the Allied Health Professionals and Specialist Nurses Committee
Please contact the AUGIS office if you would like to be involved with the AHP and CNS Committee by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org