Building a national Barrett’s Support Network

A previous attempt to establish a Barrett's Support Network is described here by Prof Laurence Lovat in 2011.

The developing network

The Barrett's Oesophagus UK was created to establish and maintain the UK Barrett’s Registry (UKBOR) and a patient support network (originally called PROBE). Barrett’s Wessex (BW) was originally created in 2009 as such a group.

In 2012 BW became a separate charity so BOUK could concentrate on UKBOR and BW on patient support.

There already exists an excellent network of support for oesophageal cancer patients managed by OPA and other charities that are part of Action Against Heartburn.

Other charities’ previous attempts to create a nationwide network of support groups for Barrett’s patients haven’t materialised due to difficulties recruiting sufficient volunteers and the issues of managing the groups remotely.

Apart from developing branches within the Wessex region in Bath, Bournemouth and Salisbury, at their 2016 AGM, BW was mandated to be able to help groups become established outside the area. BW had previously helped in the creation of a London group and have helped start Barrett’s Essex and initiated Barrett's Wales. BW is helping develop support groups in the West Country, Kent, Sussex and Manchester and continually receiving requests from elsewhere.

Although BW gets requests from refluxers and Barrett’s patients all over the UK, they can only help start a group if there will be volunteers to run it.

For anyone thinking of developing a support group in their area, BW has this page detailing their approach on their website: Starting a Barrett's Support Group.

BW also wish to work co-operatively with the other charities and invite them to consider helping with the management of Barrett’s specific support groups within their locale.

The map above shows the developing situation in 2018.