Very sadly, we have reached the decision to cancel Pelican’s Christmas Fair for 2021.
Pelican Cancer Foundation Trustee, Myrddin (Merv) Rees, received the OBE in recognition of his services to liver cancer surgery in the New Year Honours. Merv is a Consultant Hepatobiliary Surgeon and pioneered liver resection, the surgical removal of a part of the liver, in the 1980’s at Basingstoke & North Hampshire Hospital, at a time when many medical professionals said that liver resection could not be done. Merv learnt about the bloodless operating technique from an eminent surgeon in Germany, Johannes Scheele, and brought the practice to Basingstoke. His development led to dramatically increased survival rates for patients with liver secondaries, with well over 3,000 patients operated on to date.
Liver cancer is usually a secondary condition that has spread to the organ from a primary cancer in another part of the body, including the bowel. Merv has been a key part of creating the surgical expertise in treating bowel cancer and its associated secondary spread in Basingstoke and is a huge supporter of the work Pelican does.
Merv is always the first to acknowledge that he couldn’t have achieved all of this without many colleagues including his surgical and other medical colleagues, along with many clinical, admin and support teams over the years.
Merv has given his time generously, both professionally and as a Trustee, to many projects over the years and we are thrilled that his pioneering work has been recognised in this way. Pelican is very proud to be associated with such amazing clinical colleagues, of whom Merv is an outstanding example. Huge congratulations Merv.
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The team have settled in to working from home now and are focusing on moving the charity forwards. We remain steadfast in our commitment and mission of driving innovation and development in bowel cancer, focusing particularly on surgical treatment.
The Trustees continue to meet regularly to review the current situation and the team are working hard to support this. When the situation locally and nationally allows it, we look to resume our education and training activities both remotely and using more traditional delivery methods where possible. We are acutely aware of the current challenges facing staff across the NHS and how extremely hard they are working to treat all patients who need attention.
Our office is still housing staff from Basingstoke hospital, in order to free up space for clinical services in the hospital.
As the year progresses, we are hopeful that the vaccination programme and its rollout will gradually improve the situation for all. We look forward to delivering our excellent education programmes as soon as it is possible to do so.
Our small team is now starting to get back to work, from their own homes, and will be doing their best to get Pelican up and running again so that we can continue to deliver our mission of driving innovation and development in bowel cancer, focusing particularly on advancing surgical treatment.
While, sadly, Pelican is still not able to undertake its prime mission – to educate clinicians across the UK to improve the treatment of bowel cancer, we are exploring the possibility of delivering online training. At the same time, clinical staff across the NHS continue to work extremely hard to treat all patients who need attention, which includes all those with Covid-19.
The Trustees of Pelican Cancer Foundation reluctantly decided to furlough our brilliant team during the earlier peak of the pandemic because they were not able to carry out their normal roles, including organising education programmes and fundraising events. We also offered our office space to the hospital in Basingstoke so that administrative staff could work there and free up space for the clinical services in the hospital.
We are working on a path through this difficult time for Pelican so that we can continue to work with clinicians throughout the NHS. We have started to explore the potential to deliver our education programmes online so that NHS staff do not need to travel to continue to learn. A new direction for Pelican!
If you would like to donate to help us develop this new direction, please Click here