Welcome to the second NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery newsletter. We hope that you and your families are keeping well. During these unprecedented times, we will endeavour to send the newsletter on a more regular basis to share the latest news and developments from across the Unit. We are aware that many of us are now working in challenging ‘lockdown’ conditions. None-the-less, let us continue to recognise and keep each other informed about the many developments that are happening in each of our locations. 

Please send us any items of news that you would like us to include in future editions of the newsletter.

We look forward to hearing from you.

NEWS FROM THE UNIT

Welcome Benin
We would like to congratulate Dr Ismail Lawani and the team in Benin as the newest recruiters to FALCON. Welcome!

CovidSurg cohort studies

Covidsurg is a rapidly expanding, capturing real-world data and sharing international experience which will inform the management of patients undergoing surgery throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information please visit the website CovidSurg

We are pleased to announce that an article by the Collaborative‘Global guidance for surgical care during the COVID-19 pandemic’ – has been rapidly accepted by BJS. Full details will follow shortly.

Global Surgery Guidelines 

Thank you Stephen for sharing your image of the guidelines in use.

The full open-access publication of our Guidelines for Prevention of Surgical Site Infections is now available here and the visual abstract (translated into 11 languages) can be seen on our Unit’s website.

UPDATES ON THE UNIT PROJECTS

Important message regarding 30 day follow up (and the TALON substudy):

  • During the coronavirus pandemic, patients should not be brought back to the hospital for 30 day follow up for FALCON, as this could increase the risk of coronavirus transmission. Instead, the 30 day follow up assessment should be completed via telephone. It is essential that this assessment is performed, so as to meet the primary outcome. Patients may still need to attend the hospital for medical reasons, and we do not seek to alter this process.
  • In line with the above, we are seeking to validate whether telephone follow-up during the coronavirus pandemic is as good as a face-to-face follow-up. We have therefore formalised this comparison, for the credibility of the FALCON trial, into a substudy (TALON-2). For patients who still must attend hospital, the 30 day follow up can be conducted in-person, and this can also be used to ensure validity of telephone data collection.
  • Dr James Glasbey has been in touch with many of you regarding setting up TALON-2; please feel free to contact James or the FALCON trial team to progress with the next steps.

Progress update:

  • 4393 patients recruited (as at 06/04/2020); approximately 1500 still to recruit (to allow for additional recruitment in clean-contaminated arm).
  • We accept that this period will be extremely challenging and thank you all for your continued support. Should you have any concerns about recruiting into FALCON during this period, please feel free to contact the trial team directly ([email protected])

A CEI case study on the STARFISH project in the Philippines is now live on our website with videos on how study design can benefit from patient involvement and useful tips on how best to go about it.

Our CEI webpages have been reviewed by our Public Advisory Group for accessibility and clarity for researchers working in global health, as well as clinicians in LMICs. Overall feedback was very positive and we are ready to publish further case studies in due course.

Public engagement and involvement networks are still going strong, virtually sharing ideas and methods to stay connected with involved members of the public.