Fifth Sense at the 2015 British Rhinological Society meeting
On Friday 15th May we had a stand at the 2015 British Rhinological Society (BRS) meeting which was held at the Manchester Central Conference Centre. The BRS is a sub-group of ENTUK, with membership consisting mainly of Consultants and Registrars who work in the field of rhinology – the nose and sinuses. The majority of members, therefore, are used to seeing patients with olfactory disorders in their clinics.
If you’ve been following us for a while you may remember we participated in last year’s BRS meeting where we demonstrated the impact of smell loss on flavour perception – with the help of some nose clips. Click here for more info.
This year Fifth Sense’s Duncan Boak, Chrissi Kelly and Ian Maude left the nose clips at home and went along to promote the support we offer, for example via our volunteer-led Regional Hub support network, and information and advice via our newsletters.
What was really positive was the fact that every clinician we spoke to was already aware of Fifth Sense (many of them remembered the nose clips from last year!) and are already directing their patients to us.
The BRS meeting also includes numerous talks and presentations. One of this year’s sessions will be of particular interest to many of our UK-based Fifth Sense members. Archana Soni-Jaiswal, Carl Philpott and Claire Hopkins presented a research paper: The Impact of Commissioning for Rhinosinusitis in England.
Rhinosinusitis is a major cause of anosmia and hyposmia. This study looks at the practices of 58 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs – NHS organisations set up in 2012 to manage the delivery of healthcare across England) to find out how many of them complied with the commissioning guidelines on the treatment of rhinosinusitis (which can be viewed on the Royal College of Surgeon’s website here). It found that whilst 51 of the 58 studied do follow the guidelines, there are 7 that have ‘restricted referral criteria’ in place, i.e. they do not encourage GPs to refer patients to an ENT specialist within the time frame recommended by the guide. There are also other ways in which the practices of some of these 7 CCGs differ from the guide.
What this means is that patients within these 7 CCGs are potentially being treated differently to patients in other parts of England and are thus victims of a ‘postcode lottery’. This is against the NHS constitution and open to legal challenge.
Although we are not able to publish the research paper here in full, we are planning on producing a summary of it and making this available via our website in due course.
All in all it was a really successful visit to this year’s BRS meeting and we plan on being there again in 2016.