The latest in the Red Lion Group Zoom into Summer webcasts continued last night (June 28th 2021) with an excellent presentation by Jason Bacon, CEO of the St Mark’s Foundation.  The St Mark’s Foundation is a non-NHS charity linked to St Mark’s Hospital and who raise money to support fundamental research and clinical work being conducted at this centre of excellence for bowel surgery.  The Foundation raises approximately £2m every year for this tremendous cause and Jason has regular meetings with the clinic staff to understand their needs and how the funding should best be directed.  The Foundation also delivers a huge amount of training resource to the St Mark’s Academy.  

Jason spoke about the disruptions caused by COVID, with surgery being stopped at St Mark’s as Northwick Park was transformed into a front-line covid hospital, including the St. Mark’s Frederick Salmon ward. The pouch nurses and other specialist staff were relocated to Central Middlesex Hospital and with the reality that only very urgent outpatient cases could be seen. 

The staff remain at Central Middlesex Hospital and this might be a permanent move but no one is sure about this at the moment.  The restrictions are more relaxed so the pouch nurses have been able to expand access to their levels of support for pouchees, and potential pouchees. 

Jason was full of praise for the multi-disciplinary specialist skills which are integrated and available to provide thorough care to pouchees before, during and after their surgical journey and this is recognised by the fact that 60% of St Mark’s patients are tertiary referrals (in other words they are patients who are referred from other hospitals).    

Central Middlesex Hospital is a modern facility with excellent parking for those travelling by car and an excellent local bus service with a sub-depot located right outside the hospital.  

Every cloud has a silver lining and Jason spoke warmly about the skills developed as a result of adapting to the new challenges of covid, in particular the conduct of outpatient consultations over the internet via zoom calls.  Zarah Perry-Woodford will be speaking on this topic in more detail during her RLG Zoom lecture in September (date to be announced). 

Jason was also able to offer informal comment and advice on the availability of medina catheters after the current supplier withdraws the product.  RLG will be following up on this on behalf of our members.  

The next in the series of Summer lectures takes place on 7 July with Ellie Bradshaw talking about the importance of full emptying on pouch health and function.  Until recently, Ellie was a specialist nurse in the Biofeedback Unit at St Mark’s, so she has a huge amount of knowledge and expertise and is an engaging and entertaining speaker. 

You can see a full recording of the Jason Bacon webcast and register for upcoming events at

David Davies
(RLG Chairman)

Gary Bronziet