1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Reference

How to cite this article: Holdoway A. & Sanders D.S. (2012) The Inaugural Digestive Disorders Federation Meeting: a collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to medical and nutrition education? J Hum Nutr Diet. 25, 101–102.

For the first time in the United Kingdom an event that specialises in bringing together experts in the field of digestive diseases and nutrition is to take place in Liverpool, England, 17th to 20th June 2012.

This landmark 4 day meeting; named the Digestive Disorders Federation (DDF) is the first combined meeting of four leading organisations; the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG), Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons (AUGIS), British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN) and British Association for the Study of the Liver (BASL). The DDF meeting will replace the annual meeting of each of the four organisations this year. You may question the relevance of this announcement to our readership. The DDF reflects the state of the art nature of healthcare today, an aim to be emulated in the content of the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics (JHND), that healthcare including diet and nutrition and its complexities, needs to be multi-professional in nature and delivery. The DDF aims to bring together experts in the field to ensure that healthcare is underpinned by the best available evidence. As such the DDF and the JHND have much in common; with world class speakers, interactive symposia and up to a thousand abstracts, the DDF reflects the ambitions of JHND.

An event such as the DDF not only brings together several thousand interested delegates to hear the experts but also provides the arena for critical debate. The DDF programme is likely to appeal to many readers of JHND. Provisional scientific topics include medical and surgical management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Liver, Pancreatic and Small Bowel Transplantation, Intestinal Failure, the management of obesity, probiotics, pseudo-obstruction, neuro-endocrine tumours, cystic disease of the pancreas. Even in the shortlist presented here it is evident that nutrition will be an integral component of key sessions. The breadth and multiplatform nature of such a meeting allows delegates to ‘pick, choose and sample’ many areas of interest – thus maximising educational opportunity. In these days of constrained budgets and study leave, this format of meeting becomes very attractive.

Embracing the government’s agenda to put patients at the centre of our care, there will be a Public Engagement Event ‘Nutrition Question Time’. Such patient forums are a unique opportunity to gain direct feedback from patients and the medical charities which represent them. In conjunction with a key symposium ‘Organisation of Nutritional Care’, nutrition will be firmly on the agenda.

Articles accepted for publication in JHND, like a clinical meeting, intend to stimulate, foster and provide leadership in the art and science of patient care; teach and research the diseases and functions of the gastrointestinal tract; provide a forum for the presentation of such knowledge; and encourage scientific publications supporting the foregoing activities. Historically the BSG has had a high rate of publication for those papers that are accepted and presented by comparison to those that are rejected. Thus the DDF meeting allows a unique opportunity for high quality peer review prior to formal submission to any medical journal (Hopper et al., 2009).

Digestive Disorders Federation 2012 is truly multidisciplinary and will be relevant for academics, Doctors, Dietitians, Nutritionists, Pharmacists, Nurses, researchers, students and trainees working in nutrition, nutrition support, gastroenterology, bariatrics, hepatology, endoscopy, gastrointestinal surgery and related fields. It is hoped that if this initiative is successful then other organisations may also consider collaborating in this manner.

With key and interactive symposia DDF sessions will aim to improve professional competency directly relevant to work and along with significant networking opportunities to enable delegates to remain current in the field. We expect many of our readers to be present and are aware that a significant number are involved in presenting.

In conclusion the aims of the DDF are laudable and perhaps best summarised by Professor Jonathan Rhodes, President of the BSG ‘Nutrition is hugely important to gastrointestinal and liver health but often overlooked. This joint DDF meeting between BAPEN, BSG, BASL, AUGIS and with involvement from BSPGHAN…provides a wonderful opportunity to remedy this and to stimulate interaction, education and research’. With up to 4000 delegates anticipated, it offers the chance to raise the profile of nutrition in patient care. Not only might it appeal to the readership of the JHND but both the DDF and the JHND share common aims to provide world class data and evidence in current and critical topics.


  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Reference
  • Hopper, A.D., Atkinson, R.J., Razak, A., Rahim, A., Perera, A., Jones, G. & Sanders, D.S. (2009) Is medical research within the United Kingdom in decline? A study of publication rates from the British Society of Gastroenterology from 1994 to 2002. Clin. Med. 9, 2225.