COVID-19 update from BAETS Executive Board

We are gaining a better understanding of the effects of Covid-19 on healthcare in general, including both outpatient consultations and operative surgery.

As health services work towards a ‘new normal’ situation, the BAETS Executive continues to support you and your patients.

It is clear that some hospitals are returning to more normal working, whilst others remain focused on the care of those with the most urgent treatments

We have therefore decided to keep the advisory documents below available to our members on this site, but are supportive of local initiatives to return to normal working where, if capacity permits, a full range of endocrine services can be provided. Clearly it is important when planning such services to take account of national, regional and local advice on how best to protect both patients and staff from Covid-19 infection, and to work with and take advice from hospital infection control teams and other relevant governance structures to balance the risk to patients from undergoing routine treatment at this time against the possible risk of delaying treatments, with informed patient choice playing a significant role in decision making.

Pre-operative and postoperative Fibreoptic Nasendoscopy (FNE) – In the long term the BAETS Executive continue to support the principle of preoperative and postoperative FNE on every patient to allow thyroid and parathyroid surgeons to fully understand their personal nerve palsy rate, and also to avoid operating on patients with an undiagnosed pre-existing recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy. We do however understand that in response to local and national guidance on the current use of FNE, and the PPE required when undertaking the procedure, it may be acceptable not to undertake pre operative FNE at this time in preoperative patients with no history of prior neck surgery, or voice change, and in postoperative asymptomatic patients where no further neck surgery is anticipated.

Advisory guideline development – below are our advice documents which we developed in the initial stages of the pandemic and which may still be helpful in decision making when planning local services. As local services return to a ’new normal’ these documents may be helpful but should not prevent a return to offering full endocrine surgical services if local conditions and governance advice permits this.

– BAETS Statement Thyroid Cancer – Covid

– BAETS Statement Adrenal – Covid 19

– Benign Thyroid Covid Final

– BAETS Prioritisation Advice Final

– BAETS Prioritisation Advice – Paediatric Final

– Parathyroid Covid Final

Annual Meeting – we 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. The rescheduled meeting date for BAETS Leeds 2021 is 7th and 8th October 2021 – please reserve these dates in your diaries now.

BAETS will continue to support the highest level of clinical practice possible through the Covid-19 pandemic, and support you as members with the decisions you have to take. We realise that this continues to be a fast developing situation, and there may be further Covid-19 ‘waves’ of infection – which is why local decision making is ultimately the only way forward because of the differing circumstances across the nation.

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).


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2020 BAETS Online meeting

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Thyroid & Parathyroid Masterclass | March 2021 (date TBC)

Thyroid & Parathyroid Masterclass | March 2021 (date TBC) please check back later for full details

2021 BAETS annual meeting in Leeds, 7-8 Oct 2021

2021 BAETS annual meeting in Leeds, 7-8 Oct 2021. Full details will be available soon. Please save the date.