ABS Networks

The Association of Breast Surgery is establishing a series of networks which members can join in order to receive communications tailored to their specific interests, in addition to the quarterly ABS Newsletter and monthly bulletin emails. You can find details of each of the networks and the information that will be circulated below.

Aesthetic Breast Surgery
Increasing numbers of ABS members are performing aesthetic procedures both within the NHS and private sectors.  With CCGs assessing more stringently whether they fund procedures of low clinical priority and some areas in the country now not funding contralateral breast surgery following breast reconstruction, private cosmetic breast surgery is likely to increase. 

Approximately 50% of the Association’s members perform cosmetic surgery and as a consequence the ABS has established an aesthetic breast surgery network within the ABS to represent members’ interests.  The aim of the aesthetic breast surgery network is to ensure patients’ safety and experience by supporting and developing high quality aesthetic breast surgery through audit, education and training.  The ABS is also keen to continue collaborating with other recognised aesthetic groups such as BAPRAS and BAAPS, ensuring equitable standards in aesthetic breast surgery.  The ABS has agreed that its members performing aesthetic surgery will have to adhere the BAPRAS code of practice.

The network aims to develop an aesthetic section on the ABS website to be both educational and potentially as a forum for discussion for difficult cases. 
A dedicated aesthetic session has already been created for the ABS annual meeting and it is hoped an aesthetic newsletter will be produced.
Appropriate training and mentoring is being investigated in addition to supporting members who wish to undergo the Royal College of Surgeons cosmetic accreditation.   

Clinical Practice & Standards
The ABS encourages best practice by working with NICE, the CQC and other Associations and charities interested in breast care to develop clinical guidelines based on high quality research recommendations from around the world. The Clinical Practice & Standards Committee works to ensure that members stay up-to-date with the latest information regarding guidelines, medico-legal issues, private practice and more.

We would like to invite members with a particular interest in these areas, as well as areas such as MDT developments, CEA updates, NICE, GiRFT and Duty of Candour, to join the ABS Clinical Practice & Standards Network. By joining thenetwork you will receive more regular updates about these topics, in addition to the information that is included in the ABS e-newsletter which is circulated to members quarterly.

Education & Training
The ABS Education & Training Network aims to bring together ABS members who are interested in training.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England will no longer be running its portfolio of breast courses and so the ABS is looking at ways it can provide a UK wide range of breast courses.  The network will be important for keeping members up to date with these developments and promoting opportunities for members to act as faculty on courses.

The network will also provide information for trainers, update on the curriculum and will act as a point of contact for trainees and trainers.

The ABS International Network aims to bring together all ABS members who are interested in projects abroad. Members who choose to join the network will receive regular updates and will be contacted by the ABS when volunteer, or other opportunities abroad, arise.

The current focus of the International Working Group is education and training in lower and middle income countries, including observerships, offering breast camps in parts of Africa and Asia and establishing links to enable our members to visit units abroad.

Members will also have the opportunity to write in with their suggestions and distribute information to like-minded members.

The Academic and Research Committee are actively working to fulfil the ABS’ mission to dramatically increase the opportunities for patients to participate in clinical trials. 
The only way to succeed in this is to engage with ABS members in developing, supporting and delivering clinical trials. There has been a steady increase in breast surgery research studies in recent years, including LORIS, POSNOC, Bridging the Gap and trainee network studies such as iBRA and MASDA, among others.

We would like to invite members with a particular interest in research to join the Research Network and to help us develop new studies by contributing topics for trials, commenting on proposed trial designs and providing feedback to colleagues developing studies. We are looking for individuals with an interest that goes someway beyond recruitment to existing trials, which is of course an essential activity for all members of the ABS. This activity can be recognised as a contribution to your annual appraisal and may lead to greater involvement in studies as a local PI or even developing your skills towards trial management and developing your own studies.

If you are interested in joining one of our networks then please email lenasebova@absgbi.org.uk