Building a national Barrett’s Support Network?

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

A suggestion for discussion.

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

In 2012 BW became a separate charity so BOC 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 hubs within the Wessex region, 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 (HCUK London managed by Heartburn Cancer UK who also have a support group in EastAnglia) and Barrett’s Essex. BW is also now looking into the establishment of support groups in the West Country, Kent, South Wales and Sussex.

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. 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.

As an aid to discussion, BW offers this map of a possible dissection of the country into support group areas that are already established, presently under consideration or could be considered.