COVID-19 update from BAETS Executive Board

Dear Colleagues,

During this very difficult time, the BAETS Executive is working hard to support you and your patients. In the months to come our hospitals will face the most difficult challenges – challenges that were not foreseen just a few weeks ago.

Neck surgery appears to be relatively high risk in terms of exposure to infection in both known Covid-19 cases, and in asymptomatic but infected patients. Adrenal surgery involves a slightly lower exposure risk for the surgical team, but in all cases we need to balance the risk of delaying treatment against the risk of exposing patients to Covid-19 infection in hospitals.

The ENT surgeons amongst our membership will be particularly aware of ENT UK and BLA guidance on fibre-optic laryngoscopy, which does seem to be a particularly high risk procedure in terms of transmission of infection.

The actions we have taken so far are:

1) Liaison with other specialist organisations and RCS (Eng) to ensure that Endocrine Surgical patients are properly considered in planning.

2) Advisory guideline development – below is the advice re: Thyroid Cancer Surgery and Adrenal Surgery that you may wish to take into account when planning services. Ultimately final decisions will need to be taken locally,  through local governance structures, but we hope that these advisory documents will help local planning. Advice on Benign Thyroid Surgery and Parathyroid Surgery will follow soon.

– BAETS Statement Thyroid Cancer – Covid

– BAETS Statement Adrenal – Covid 19

3) Meetingswe have taken the difficult decision to delay the Leeds BAETS Annual Meeting by one year to 2021. Sheila Fraser and her colleagues have worked very hard to develop a great programme, but with study leave cancelled for the foreseeable future and uncertainties re when society will return to a more normal situation, we just could not take the risk of running the meeting this year. Provisional dates for 2021 will be circulated soon.

On behalf of the Exec we would like to extend our very best wishes to all of you at this difficult time. BAETS will continue to support the highest level of clinical practice possible through this period, and support you as members with the difficult decisions you will have to take.

Jeremy Davis, President, BAETS

Michael Stechman, Secretary, BAETS


The British Association of Endocrine and Thyroid Surgeons (BAETS) is the representative body of British Surgeons who have a specialist interest in surgery of the endocrine glands (thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal). The BAETS is recognised by the Department of Health, the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI) and the British Association of Surgical Oncology (BASO). Find out more




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