Dan Longrois on behalf of the NASC and the Board of Directors of the ESA, and Susan de Bièvre on behalf of the ESA Secretariat
Time has come to have a look at several years of collaborations with the National Anaesthesiologists Societies (NAS) that are members of the NASC and of ESA.
The first major goal of the NASC chairperson, and this has been our task and work on each occasion, was to have the voices of the NAS be heard and listened to when important decisions were taken at the level of the ESA Board of Directors and Council, and during EBA meetings and discussions. The points of view and the expectations of the NAS are complementary to those of ESA as a members’ society. An example of complementarity is the choice of the venues for the ESA-organized meetings: Euroanaesthesia and the Focus meeting, together with Master Classes, the Teach the Teachers Classes, and many others. It has now become routine that ESA consults that NAS long before decisions on the venues are taken. Although this is now a ‘natural’ process, it took a few years to implement this as routine.
In addition, many NAS ask the ESA Board of Directors to have Board representatives at their National meetings and we are now routinely present as Board members at the majority of the national meetings. Furthermore, ESA sends representatives and has an ESA booth at several large meetings of NAS such as the Great Britain and Ireland AAGBI, the German DGAI, the French SFAR, the Italian SIARTI, and soon a few others. The ESA Board of Directors has also decided that there would be yearly face-to-face meetings between ESA Board of Directors members and the Boards of Directors of large NAS. These meetings are an opportunity to discuss collaborations and together shape the future of the ESA.
In addition to these ‘political’ collaborations, we, at the NASC meetings and at many ESA meetings (Board, Guidelines Committee, Patient Safety and Quality of Care Committee to name only a few), were convinced that the best way to reinforce the relationship between ESA and the NAS was to have common projects. The following projects were started and are now on-going:
- The National Villages organized during each Euroanaesthesia has been literally resuscitated and the recipe for resuscitation was to organize the National Villages on a new theme every year. Not only do NAS meet during Euroanaesthesia but they collaborate and share their experience of a given theme. The themes included training of future specialists in Anaesthesiology in different countries. This first experience revealed the heterogeneity of postgraduate training in Europe and contributed to starting the Trainees Committee. This ESA Committee has struggled to create Trainees Committees in those NAS that did not have one. The achievements of the Trainees Committee are impressive and we are all convinced that the future of the ESA and NASC is bright.Subsequent themes were patient safety and specifically the existence of reporting platforms. This again revealed heterogeneity and basically the lack of reporting platforms specifically dedicated to Anaesthesiology in the majority of countries whose NAS are members of NASC and ESA. From this experience, we started a project that is on-going with the PSQC on the follow-up of the implementation of the Helsinki Declaration for Patient Safety. The 2017 National Villages was dedicated to Perioperative Medicine (see article in this issue of the Newsletter). It also revealed heterogeneity.The next National Villages meeting that will take place in Copenhagen is dedicated to continuous professional development. How are the meetings of the National Villages going to evolve? Probably on a similar pathway with different themes, and through synergistic efforts with all the ESA committees to reinforce the collaborations between the NAS and ESA-EBA, and start and achieve large pan-European projects.
- The Guidelines Committee (Drs Robertis and Longrois) has redefined its doctrine of Guidelines development and has proposed all NAS collaborations to develop and implement Guidelines. We have already received proposals from SIARTI, from the Romanian SRATI, soon from the French SFAR, and possibly many others. Such collaborations will first benefit our members by avoiding discordant Guidelines and will also benefit NAS because collaborations will spare effort, time, and money for the development of the Guidelines. What is unique in the ESA Guidelines doctrine1 is the fact that ESA has decided to develop Guidelines that contain the implementation tools: e-learning modules (several are near completion concerning the ESC/ESA 2014 Guidelines2,3) to allow clinicians to build robust and reproducible clinical reasoning tools and thus facilitate the implementation of the ESA guidelines.
- Ever since we decided in 2014 to start the ‘Practice Abroad and Return Home’ or PARH project, we attempted, with difficulty, to tackle the difficult problem of brain drain of anaesthesiologists in Europe. Given the complexity of the situation, we are happy to announce that two such projects have been started and followed-up by NASC and the ESA: (a) the collaboration between Moldova and Romania has resulted into the first active PARH project and we would like to take advantage of this article to thank all those Romanian and Moldovan anaesthesiologist decision makers who have contributed to the implementation of this project. A second such project concerns Romania and France and is dedicated to the practice of anaesthesiology in cancer institutes. Again we would like to express our gratitude to all those who contributed to this project.
- Many other projects are in the design phase. They concern the CEEA Courses and the Sustainable Anaesthesia project (see article in this issue of the Newsletter).
How were all these projects implemented? The answer is through synergy between NASC and the ESA, through hard work in the NASC, at the level of several committees, and with the credo of the members of the Board of Directors and several presidents, that the collaborations between ESA and the NAS are an essential element for the future of the ESA. All these projects would not have been possible without a reactive ESA secretariat and without a Finance Committee willing to accompany them. On behalf of the NASC, we must show them our gratitude.
Finally, the last four years have been a huge opportunity for a synergistic collaboration between nearly forty NAS and the ESA. It has been an honour to contribute as NASC chairperson, with many others, to these collaborations and I am fully convinced that the projects started in 2014 will continue and evolve.
- De Robertis E, Longrois D. To streamline the guideline challenge: The European Society of Anaesthesiology policy on guidelines development. Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2016;33(11):794-9.
- Kristensen SD, Knuuti J, Saraste A, et al.; Authors/Task Force Members. 2014 ESC/ESA Guidelines on non-cardiac surgery: cardiovascular assessment and management: The Joint Task Force on non-cardiac surgery: cardiovascular assessment and management of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA). Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2014;31(10):517-73.
- Longrois D, Hoeft A, De Hert S. 2014 European Society of Cardiology/European Society of Anaesthesiology guidelines on non-cardiac surgery: cardiovascular assessment and management: A short explanatory statement from the European Society of Anaesthesiology members who participated in the European Task Force. Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2014;31(10):513-6.