Let’s get together
The academic programme is complete, and the countdown has begun for what will be a very long-awaited ESPO get-together in Liverpool.
We are delighted to share some highlights with you. Breakfast sessions with ‘old hands’ include ESPO past-presidents being grilled by our Young ESPO colleagues on ‘What I should have done better’. Expect robust exchanges in the ‘fight-talks’ and debate sessions on such topics as who needs DISE for OSA, what’s so bad about OSA anyway, should we ban ‘cold steel’ tonsillectomy, do we need ventilation tubes for OME, how do we choose the best auditory implant, and do children ever really benefit from FESS?
Keynote speakers include two of Britain’s foremost clinician scientists. Prof Sir Stephen O’ Rahilly has pioneered radical new genetic treatments for obesity in children. Sir Stephen has lessons for us all in how we get ideas from the laboratory bench to transform how we can better look after children and families in our clinics and operating rooms.
Prof Sir Andrew Pollard has been to the fore in the discovery, design, and development of a range of vaccines. His ground-breaking studies on Covid-19 led to the distribution of over three billion doses of the like-saving Astra Zeneca vaccine, transforming outcomes globally and bringing about huge reductions in morbidity and mortality as the pandemic came to an end. Sir Andrew will tell us of some exciting new work in the field of HPV infection, of great interest to the ORL community.
Prof Hannah Burns has been a leading figure in establishing links between ORL specialists world-wide, especially during the pandemic when face-to-face meetings between colleagues were difficult and travel became almost impossible. Hannah will talk about her ‘Whats-App’ group, now perhaps the most powerful and influential way in which specialists exchange information. Hannah has made those of us who work in paediatric ORL into a truly global community, a force for advocacy and change in children’s services and a model of good practice for other specialties. The world truly has become smaller due to modern techniques of communication and information sharing, and Hannah will explore how this revolution will play out in the years to come.
Global health features prominently in the programme. If the world has shrunk, it hasn’t always become fairer or more equal. We can no longer shy away from issues such as unfairness in resource allocation, disparities in health care for children across national and cultural boundaries, the effects of poverty and deprivation on health outcomes, and the increasingly unhappy realisation that hospitals – and we health-care professionals- contribute more than our fair share to the destruction of the planet. How we promote equity, sustainability and the ‘green agenda’ alongside the technological developments that drive improvements in our specialty is very much up for debate. Expect some frank and not always comfortable exchanges of views.
We need to celebrate our entrepreneurs in ORL. Many will showcase their exciting ideas in a new ‘Innovation and Education’ stream running in parallel with the clinical sessions. Expect fresh perspectives on digital health, robotic surgery, artificial intelligence, ‘big data’, and genomics.
Europe was rocked by the invasion of Ukraine this time last year. Thousands of children, their families and their doctors were suddenly displaced and left homeless. How Ukrainian ORL doctors and their friends and colleagues in neighbouring countries responded to provide continuing medical care is a truly inspirational story. Prof Jarek Szydlowski (Poland) and Dr. Maryana Cherkes (Ukraine) will share their first-hand experiences of how they helped children and their carers to cope with the huge challenges the war presented.
Public expectation of doctors is rightly changing. We need to become more aware of how our patients view us. We have invited some children and their parents to share their ideas and to tell us how best we can look after them.
Expert workshops on every aspect of Ped ORL, up-to-the minute presentations from some four hundred guest speakers with another four hundred short papers, ‘how we do it’ videos, a ‘world cup’ event for ORL doctors-in-training, quizzes, a ‘fun-run’ and some super networking events will ensure nobody goes home disappointed.
There will be a state-of-the-art Simulation centre, a lively social programme (expect some musical entertainment in the birthplace of the Beatles), a lot of focus on how best we look after ourselves, each other, and the families we care for, all in keeping all with the ‘Better together’ theme of the conference.
Pack your sandals. Liverpool is a ‘walking’ city with multiple attractions within a few kilometres of the waterside convention centre.
A warm welcome awaits you in May!