As we reach the end of my first year as SSG president and look forward to our winter meeting in Dunblane on 6th December I write to thank you for the support you have given to the Scottish Society of Gastroenterology over the past twelve months.

The SSG occupies a unique place in Scottish Gastroenterology particularly as an umbrella organisation which unites Gastroenterologists of all disciplines but also our trainees, nurses and other health professionals.

The biannual meeting goes from strength to strength with excellent feedback on all aspects of the meeting from education and organisation and I believe we have adhered to the long held vision that the meeting should also be a focus for social interaction with friends from across Scotland. In that respect the dinner before each meeting has proved a very popular success. I encourage you to join us if you can!

Trainees contribute hugely to the success of the SSG and aside from presentations at our meetings the Trainee meeting before the main SSG meeting is always of incredibly high standard. In addition, I would congratulate Francesca and all her colleagues for organising the annual Taster day to encourage new junior doctors to join our specialty, Digest This our on line education platform accessible via the website and now adopted by BSG and of course the massive contribution made by all to our Scotland wide Upper GI bleed quality improvement project using the AUGIB bundle.

We all work closely with specialist nurses, dietitians and other allied health professionals on a daily basis and recognise the massive contribution they make to patient care, education and research. In order for the SSG to be truly representative we hope to encourage all of these groups to see the SSG as an inclusive society and join us too. To facilitate this we are running an inaugural parallel nurses and AHP education meeting at the winter meeting and will seek to encourage each sub specialist group to organise themed education days with us in the future.

I am delighted that SSG continues to develop new initiatives to improve patient care and foster collaborative research. In taking a pan Scotland approach we have improved patient care in upper GI bleeding. We have SSG national disease registries in microscopic colitis, eosinophilic oesophagitis and coeliac disease either in existence or advanced planning stage, so please do support these, we do need that to ensure the success of the projects.

In order to ensure that the SSG can fulfil its mission statement this year we have focussed on forging links with the Scottish Government Health Dept. Many SSG members have contributed to the collaborative project to develop referral pathways for the common symptoms or diseases which we receive and vet daily. The aim is to adopt agreed Pan Scotland pathways for local implementation. I hope to circulate the drafts of these pathways to members for comment in the near future so we can feedback to SGHD.

A recurring theme is how we achieve competence in endoscopic techniques or implement novel care models into our daily practice. The SSG is committed to supporting ongoing professional development for all members .I would remind you all that we will provide financial support for consultants, trainees or nurses for sabbaticals for training so please do consider applying!

Finally, I would like to thank all the other office bearers and council members who have all contributed significantly to the SSG this year. The SSG also benefits hugely by having Steph our permanent administrator at RCPE and input from Amethyst our meeting organisers, again a big thank you to them all.

I look forward to meeting you all in Dunblane,

Best wishes,

John Morris