Skip to main content

BAUS and Widening Participation

Jo Cresswell, BAUS Vice President is taking the lead for BAUS Trustees on "widening participation".  The following article is taken from a letter Jo wrote to members recently in this regard.

" The Royal College of Surgeons of England has recently published an independent review on Inclusion and Diversity, conducted by Baroness Helena Kennedy.

Click here to view the report - we urge you to read it.

Baroness Kennedy and Professor Farah Bhatti will be presenting at the BAUS Annual Meeting 2021. Please submit your questions to: Susan Willis by email.

BAUS is considering the lessons that we can draw from this report. Although the RCSEng and BAUS are different organisations, there are common threads that will be helpful as we shape the future of our organisation and ensure that BAUS remains the professional home for the urological community.

This report provides the impetus for BAUS to seize the opportunity to broaden the engagement of colleagues, by welcoming and supporting the widest group of clinicians into our organisation. Urologists in the future will share our values and commitment to excellent patient care; however, they will undoubtedly face a variety of different challenges in the workplace, and will network and seek professional support in different ways.

There is a natural evolution taking place within BAUS, as we continually seek to represent and relate to our membership in different ways; some of this has been catalysed through the challenge of COVID, Black Lives Matter and other global movements.

BAUS recognises that we must break down the barriers to involvement and engagement within the organisation, and we feel strongly that the time is right to accelerate change and demonstrate a commitment to widening participation.

There are 16 recommendations in Baroness Kennedy’s report. Some are less relevant to BAUS, some you will note are already embedded within BAUS - its vision and ethos. Quite a few are just as relevant to BAUS as they are to the RCS.

Key themes are to understand the composition of our membership better, to educate each other and increase empathy for the challenges we face, and to ensure that BAUS leadership both reflects its membership and is accessible to all our members.

Some subjects are difficult to tackle because they include sensitive conversations, opening our minds to insights that can be uncomfortable. Urologists are a very open-minded group, and we can do this successfully, ensuring that everyone has a voice and a sense of belonging within BAUS. For BAUS, "levelling the playing field" means improving opportunities for everyone, it is not about reducing support for any person or group.

To start this journey, we plan 3 initial steps.

  1. We need your help in truly understanding the diversity within our BAUS community. We will soon be circulating a short survey to capture this. If we do not know who we represent, then proportionate change is difficult. The initial data will be shared in the summer and will support strategic development;
  2. We will set up a structure to develop the widening participation project,and to share ideas with our membership in a consultative process; and
  3. Education is a core pillar of BAUS activity - developing professional values and openly discussing the challenges will be a keynote in our conferences."

View other news