Rescheduling of the 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM)

Dear Colleague

It is with great disappointment that I have to inform you that this year’s ALSGBI Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) has been postponed until Winter 2021.

The Council and Secretariat, up until now, have been working hard to arrange this year’s ASM but we have reached a point where a decision has to be made that requires a substantial financial (non-refundable) commitment if we are to keep our venue for this year’s ASM.  A few days ago, at the Council Meeting of the ALSGBI it was uncertain if social distancing would logistically allow a viable meeting. The continued uncertainty surrounding resumption of normal working practices, the possibility of a second wave, the likelihood that some form of restriction in social activity and the possibility of increased pressure on clinicians to catch up with lost work meant that we were unable to take the gamble that an ASM would be financially viable even accounting for the event being 6 months in the future.

The ALSGBI is keen to produce some form of event to provide an educational and scientific content to our members. We are therefore planning a ‘Virtual Meeting’ with FREE dial-in online access for all ALSGBI members. We hope to still provide video and paper presentations (so will still be requesting submissions for this). We plan to provide webinars on hot topics in aspects of minimal access and robotic surgery along with ‘as-live’ operating.

The planning stages are very early but the hope is to provide a ‘Minimal Access and Robotic Surgery Week’ with 2-3 hours each day of scientific/operative content. It is hoped this week will be bookended by two ‘proper’ physically-attended training days. One for robotic training and the other for advanced laparoscopic techniques, both with reduced numbers and appropriate social distancing.

We will keep you informed of events as they are arranged.

The Council and I apologise for having to make this decision and cancel what I have always considered to be one of the most enjoyable scientific events in the surgical calendar.

Yours faithfully

Mr Don Menzies
President, ALSGBI