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BASL Equality, Diversity and Inclusiveness Strategy 2021-2024
News Type: BASL News

The BASL Equality, Diversity and Inclusiveness Strategy 2021-2024 document has been compiled as part of the BASL Inclusiveness Project and has received BASL Committee approval.

This, alongside our updated Equality, Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy and the policies that have been developed to support it can be found in the members area of our website by logging on > here .

IQILS Accreditation Programme Update
News Type: BASL News

2021 was a year of significant progress for the IQILS accreditation programme. The programme is in its strongest position since it launched back in 2021. The first few onsite accreditation assessments were conducted in the latter stages of 2021. We would like to congratulate the services at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and North Bristol NHS Trust on being awarded accreditation. Dr James Ferguson, the IQILS clinical lead has commented on the outstanding level of care, compassion and innovation these services have demonstrated. Several assessments will be taking place in the early part of 2022. Currently the programme has 61 registered services, 2 accredited services and 12 services are currently signed off for the level 1 standards.

Introduction to IQILS accreditation programme – Tuesday 15 February 2022, 09:30 – 11:00
If you would like to learn more about the IQILS programme.  A virtual introduction to IQILS accreditation session is being ran. This session is designed for services not yet registered to the programme and are interested in finding out more. During the session delegates will learn about:
• What is accreditation and how it can add value to your service
• The process and logistics involved in accreditation
• The overall benefits of registering

The session will be led by the Dr James Ferguson, IQILS clinical lead and Dr Andrew Yeoman, the QA lead of the IQILS programme. The session will take place via MS teams. Once you have registered an invite will be sent to all delegates with the dial in details. Registration for services is open.

Services registered to the programme receive access to the following benefits:
• The full accreditation standards
• Access to the IQILS website and self-assessment webtool
• Regular virtual training session on the accreditation process and standards
• Online repository of best practice templates and documents
• Regular newsletters on the programme with updates
• Support from the IQILS office team

If your service is interested in registering, please visit the IQILS website to sign up; .

Accreditation helps services to:
• independently measure themselves against national standards
• reduce variation in quality standards of their services
• demonstrate dedication to improvement, patient safety and reducing risk
• raise their profile, which can often be used to leverage support in their organisation
• highlight good practice and get targeted advice on where to focus improvement efforts

Please contact the IQILS team at or 0203 3075 1508 if you would like to speak to the team about the programme. IQILS has recently joined twitter, follow us @IQILS_Liver .

(Added 5/01/2022)

Joint BASL and BSG Statement: Information regarding new monoclonal antibody drugs against Covid-19
News Type: BASL News

With the rapid rise in cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the UK the NHS potentially faces another surge in hospital admissions and we are all facing familiar uncertainty and drawing on our resilience mechanisms again. The uncertainty is compounded by not yet knowing the severity or otherwise compared to the Delta variant, the moderating effect of vaccination and whether enough of the population are either vaccinated or boosted to exert this effect, and how the new monoclonal antibody drugs for symptomatic mild to moderate disease in the community will impact on admissions. Below is a summary from the relevant policies, with links, for your information.

These new monocolonals now have conditional marketing authorisation for use in non-hospitalised patients in the UK (read the website alert by clicking > here ). 

  • Sotrovimab is given by single intravenous infusion and is reported to reduce the relative risk of hospitalisation or death by 85%.
  • Molnupiravir is given orally by capsules for 5 days and is reported to reduce the relative risk of hospitalisation or death by 30%.

Patients must meet all of the eligibility criteria and none of the exclusion criteria. Prehospitalised patients are eligible for treatment if:
• SARS-CoV-2 infection is confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing within the last 5 days
• Onset of symptoms of COVID-193 4 within the last 5 days
• A member of a ‘highest’ risk group (as defined in Appendix 1).

Symptoms listed are: feverish, chills, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, red or watery eyes, body aches, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion, dizziness, pressure or tight chest, chest pain, stomach ache, rash, sneezing, sputum or phlegm, runny nose.

Appendix 1 includes liver disease in the following categories:
• Patients with cirrhosis Child’s-Pugh class B and C (decompensated liver disease).
• Patients with a liver transplant
• Liver patients on immune suppressive therapy (including patients with and without liver cirrhosis)
• Patients with cirrhosis Child’s-Pugh class A who are not on immune suppressive therapy (compensated liver disease)

Patients will be anxious, and as clinicians we may be contacted for advice. How the delivery of these drugs is to be organised is being worked out at local operational levels. Members are advised to make enquiries within their Trusts for local arrangements. The Liverpool COVID-19 interactions checker is a useful resource (click > here ). We checked these drugs against the more commonly used immunosuppressants and, for those not familiar with this tool, it is easy to use (no expected interactions for tacrolimus, ciclosprin, azathioprine, mycophenolate, prednisolone).

Members will no doubt be aware that casirivumab and imdevimab (Ronapreve®) has authorisation in hospitalised patients admitted with acute COVID-19. This seems to be less effective in patients with the Omicron variant. Thus where Omicron accounts for more than 50% of the local hospital prevalence, Ronapreve is only recommended where genotyping results are available and confirm infection with a non-Omicron variant. Where genotyping is not available or genotyping confirms infection with the Omicron variant, the December 2021 rapid policy statement advises nMABs can only be offered as part of a formal trial.

Nosocomial acquisition is a bit different. Ronapreve can be used in non-Omicron cases where known, meeting high risk criteria and Sotrovimab has also now been authorised for hospitalised patients who acquire Omicron variant COVID-19 during their hospital stay and meet high risk criteria - for our patients with liver disease, these are the same as those listed above. (read the website alert by clicking > here ). 

Again, members are advised to check their local Trust policies, but nosocomial acquisition of COVID-19 in patients with liver disease may well meet criteria for the use of these drugs so we thought we would draw your attention to this.

Hepatologists and gastroenterologists have faced very challenging changes to practice over the last two years and rising numbers of patients with liver disease. We know the changing Covid-19 landscape continues to bring new challenges. We hope you all stay safe and well during this period.

Rebecca Jones, President BASL
John Dillon, Vice President Hepatology, BSG

Download Joint BASL_BSG message re monoclonal antibody drugs vs COVID-19.pdf

(Added December 20th 2021)

News Type: BASL News

The Guts UK/Dr Falk awards recognise the achievements of those who bring new knowledge and insight to the field of gastroenterology, pancreatology and hepatology. These awards are an opportunity to achieve national recognition as well as the financial support for career progression.

Awards available:

  • A £1,000 prize for the best essay on gastroenterology or hepatology research personally undertaken by medical students who were on an intercalated BSc/MRes/MSc/MPH/MBPhD* course during the previous academic year (2020-21).
  • Four £1,500 prizes for medical students taking full-time science degrees (BSc/MRes/MSc/MPH/MBPhD*) focusing on gastrointestinal or liver-related disease in the current academic year (2021-22).
  • Two £2,500 awards for F1/F2 doctors to facilitate prospective research in an area relevant to gastroenterology or hepatology.
  • A £1,000 award for primary and secondary care gastrointestinal/liver nurses for initiatives that have improved patient care. (Nominate your colleague today for this award).
  • A £1,000 award for dietitians working in gastroenterology or hepatology for initiatives that have improved patient care.
  • Up to £10,000 is available for UK-based gastroenterology/hepatology SpR trainees who would like to conduct an audit or quality improvement project in any area of gastroenterology, liver disease or nutrition.

Applications will close at 17:00 on 28th February 2022

For further information and to apply: 

* PhD students should note that they may apply for the medical student prize only once during their three-year studentship and that they may apply for the essay prize when their PhD has been completed.

Foundation for Liver Research - Small Grants Scheme
News Type: BASL News

First Call for Applications

The Foundation for Liver Research has set up a new Small Grants Scheme in memory of the late Professor Roger Williams CBE (1931-2020). This scheme is open to any applicant in the UK.

Outline of the Small Grants Scheme

An Application form can be downloaded from the Foundation for Liver Research website > here

The closing date for the first Call is 1st March 2022.

For details of eligibility and the application process, contact Natalie Day, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Liver Research .

National Survey - investigating the attitudes of UK specialists to liver fibrosis assessment and non-invasive liver fibrosis tests
News Type: BASL News

BASL members are invited to take part in a national survey. 

As part of the Early Detection of Liver Disease SIG, we are asking if you could take a moment to complete this short survey of attitudes towards fibrosis assessment and use of non-invasive fibrosis tests.

Gathering this type of information is important to gauge what is current practice and where barriers lie to the use of these tests.

The survey takes only 2 mins, and we’d be hugely grateful for your participation and opinions!

Link to survey: here

Kind Regards,

Kush Abeysekera
Ankur Srivastava
Clinical Research Fellow
Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist
University of Bristol
Southmead Hospital, North Bristol Trust

Survey of HCC surveillance services in the UK 2021- an invitation to participate
News Type: BASL News

A survey of HCC surveillance in the UK was last conducted in 2014, which highlighted some weaknesses in service provision nationally. We are repeating the survey to see if things have changed, and extending the survey to include additional questions on surveillance imaging and secondary surveillance. We have worked with the HCC UK Committee in developing this survey, and the project is supported by BASL. We hope that this will generate a valuable contemporary overview of UK HCC surveillance service delivery, and stimulate discussion and innovation.

The link to the survey is found here > 

This time we are seeking service level responses (one response per organisation or service).We expect the survey will only take 10-15 minutes to complete, although some of the questions might require input from other clinical colleagues e.g. section 3 is about imaging and may require input from a radiologist. We will acknowledge the lead contributor from each organisation in a report of this survey.

Many thanks in advance for your time.

Dr Aloysious Aravinthan, Consultant Hepatologist, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
Dr James Franklin, Consultant Radiologist, University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Christopher Clarke, Consultant Radiologist, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
Professor Steve Ryder, Consultant Hepatologist, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
Professor Shahid Khan, Professor of Practice (Hepatology), Imperial College London


Gilead Sciences: UK & Ireland Viral Hepatitis Fellowship/Medical Grants Program
News Type: BASL News

In an effort to further address the unmet medical need in viral hepatitis, Gilead Sciences is launching a fellowship program.

The programme will support proposals that evaluate existing, or implement and evaluate new, innovative initiatives focussed on increasing appropriate Hepatitis Delta testing utilising electronic healthcare systems (e.g. automated reflex testing or pop-ups).

Applications will be accepted from 16th August and 15th October 2021.

For more information on Gilead Sciences Fellowship program and how to apply, please visit: .

IQILS Accreditation Programme Update
News Type: BASL News

The IQILS accreditation programme has grown significantly in the last 18 months. There has been a rapid increase in the level of engagement from services, committed to progressing with IQILS accreditation. The programme currently has 60 registered services, an increase of 8 services in 2021 alone. 11 services are currently signed off for the level 1 standards; A list of all these services can be found on the IQILS website. Three services will be undergoing a full accreditation assessment in the latter part of 2021.

The programme is also offering registered services, that are not an operational delivery hub for the Hepatitis C network, peer review support opportunities. The peer reviews are taking place remotely and will provide your service with an opportunity to receive feedback and guidance on how to progress with the accreditation standards.

In other news, Dragana Smith has recently been appointed as the new IQILS programme manager. Dragana previously worked as programme manager for the pulmonary rehabilitation accreditation programme, and prior to joining the Royal College of Physicians, worked in the fields of legal practice and medical education.

Registration to the programme is open to all liver services across the UK. If your service is interested in registering, please visit our website to sign up: 

Services registered to the programme receive access to the following benefits:
• The full accreditation standards
• Access to the IQILS website and self-assessment webtool
• Regular virtual training session on the accreditation process and standards
• Online repository of best practice templates and documents
• Regular newsletters on the programme with updates
• Support from the IQILS office team

Please contact the IQILS team at or 0203 3075 1508 if you would like to speak to the IQILS team about the programme.

IQILS Accreditation Programme - assessors needed
News Type: BASL News

The IQILS accreditation programme is seeking nurse and medical assessors to conduct accreditation assessments for the programme.

The IQILS programme was launched in 2017 and is designed to support liver services in the UK. Accreditation is a supportive process of evaluating the quality of clinical services against the programme’s established standards.

Successful applicants will undergo a detailed training programme that equips them with the necessary skills and knowledge required to undertake the role. You will be invited to remote training sessions, as well as observe an assessment and receive support from the office team.  If you are interested in becoming an assessor, please contact the IQILS team at to further discuss the role.