History of BSUG

The British Society of Urogynaecology was formed in 2001 following a request from the then College President Bob Shaw. He wanted to have Specialist Societies who could advise the RCOG in areas relating to their subspecialty. While he was keen to affiliate them to the College, this was initially rejected by the Council. Nonetheless, the College Officers realised the importance of a close working relationship with Specialist Societies and so a College Officers/Specialist Societies Liaison Group was formed. This meets twice a year to discuss issues of common interest.

At the time of the request, apart from the Research Urogynaecology Society (RUGS) set up by Stuart Stanton some years previously, no British Urogynaecological society existed. Linda Cardozo, with whom Bob Shaw had spoken, therefore proposed that one should be formed and approached Bob Freeman and Vik Khullar who were Chairman and Secretary of RUGS at the time. They with others started working on a constitution and setting up a General committee/Executive and subcommittees.

A name had to be chosen and this was the British Society of Urogynaecology (BSUG).
The aims of BSUG were, and still are, to set and raise standards in Urogynaecology and assist the College in, for example, producing clinical guidelines, and standards, give advice on training (Subspecialty training, ATSM) and workforce planning, being a joint stakeholder for NICE and producing protocols for the DOH 18 week pathways. The Society wanted to help its members with education, audit and advice and this has been achieved through the hard work of the subcommittees’ i.e. governance, training, audit, meetings and research, IT and Information. BSUG also helps members by providing citations for those applying for higher awards through its nominating body status for the ACCEA.

The Governance Subcommittee has an important role in helping colleagues with governance and medico-legal issues. Their greatest achievement has been the Accreditation of Units for ‘service’ which was proposed to the College by the previous subcommittee chairman, Simon Hill in 2007. While they were unable to formally accredit jointly with BSUG, nonetheless the idea was given a positive response as Accreditation promotes best practice, helps to implement national guidelines, recognises the ‘Team’ (rather than the individual) and non-subspecialty units who provide good quality care. It might also be useful for Trusts when competing for work with ISTC’s. BSUG recommends that members consider applying for Accreditation.

The Training Subcommittee has worked incredibly hard to set up a multi-disciplinary urodynamic training accreditation with Urologists, Physiotherapists, Continence Advisors, Medical Physics and others. This is now a recognised and accepted system.
Another major achievement of BSUG has been the Surgical Audit Database originally proposed by David Richmond when he was Chairman of the Audit Subcommittee. The work which has been undertaken by Paul Moran and his team has been outstanding and they deserve our thanks and gratitude for providing us with a wonderful opportunity to collect data for all prolapse and incontinence surgery.
The database has been a high priority for BSUG and significant funding has been provided to ensure that it is available to all members free of charge. Please use it!

Following on from RUGS, the Research Subcommittee organises an annual meeting where on-going or new research can be presented for advice and (constructive!) feedback. In addition there has been collaboration with various groups including the UKCRN national trials portfolio and pelvic floor clinical studies group for developing new Protocols. Statistical and methodological advice is free to members.

The Meetings Subcommittee has an annual meeting jointly with the College in addition to other meetings including a surgical masterclass and one on obstetric pelvic floor injury. These are well attended and of high quality, often with international speakers.
Finally, the newly formed IT subcommittee and the Information Subcommittee have greatly contributed to the development of the Society by developing and maintaining this new website and generating information for patients, respectively.

IUGA

Our relationship with IUGA has grown ever since Linda Cardozo was President 1998-2000. In 2004 BSUG formally affiliated to IUGA and this has been beneficial to both Societies: our members receive the IUJ (‘Blue Journal’) monthly which helps to keep us ‘up to date’ and IUGA‘s membership increased. Many BSUG members now attend the annual IUGA meeting and several are Chairs of IUGA Committees.

The future for BSUG is bright and the new Committee is working hard on many areas which can be viewed on this excellent new website. Our aims from the beginning have been to set and raise standards and these, we feel, are being achieved. For example, the successful creation of new Urogynaecology Consultant posts has been most gratifying. In the past there were rarely one or two created in a year; since January 2010 there have been many Consultant posts with a special interest in Urogynaecology in the UK. This will hopefully mean that more trainees will want to be trained in Urogynaecology ultimately being able to provide high quality evidence-based care for patients.

Through BSUG and its relationship with the College Urogynaecology has become recognised as a major subspecialty.

Long may it continue!

  Linda Cardozo
Professor Robert Freeman
Founding Hon. Secretary and Past Chairman
  Professor Linda Cardozo
Founding Chairman