Dr Nicholas Barrett is Consultant in Critical Care at London’s Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Starting out in Sydney Australia, he now specialises in extra-corporeal life support for acute heart and lung failure.

Dr Barrett is also Chair of EuroELSO 2020, being held at London’s Queen Elizabeth II Centre next May. The congress will attract between 1,500 and 2,000 critical care cardiology, respiratory and emergency physicians, cardiothoracic surgeons, nurses, perfusionists and allied health staff from all over the world. The 2019 edition was held this past April in Barcelona. EuroELSO itself is the European Chapter of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO), established in Michigan in 1989.

Dr Barrett sees the meeting as an opportunity to draw expertise from around the world into the United Kingdom, which is currently not training enough medical professionals to work within the speciality, and is reliant on attracting clinicians from Europe, India and Australasia. There is even a net talent outflow to address. The Iceberg met up with Dr Barrett in London to discuss these issues at the recent 33rd Summer School of Iceberg partner European Cities Marketing, where he was serving on the educational event’s faculty.

In addition to creating legacies to address skills shortages, EuroELSO 2020 is also aiming to promote better guidelines within the speciality of extra-corporeal life support, more research and greater research funding. The congress hopes to foster a lifetime of collaborative working across the discipline.

But ultimately, the legacy of a medical congress is indeed ultimate… that of saving lives. Says Dr Barrett, “we learn things from each other at congresses that go the very next day into our clinical practice”.

Dr Nicholas Barrett, Consultant in Critical Care, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.


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