Specialist Society Status
The British Society for Surgery of the Hand includes over 700 Plastic, Orthopaedic and Hand surgeons, trainees and health professionals who provide care for the injured and disordered hand.
A Hand Club has existed in the UK since 1952, having been formed by a few eminent hand surgeons at a dinner in the Athenaeum. The “Second Hand Club” was established in 1956 to widen the membership and subsequently expanded into the British Society for Surgery of the Hand when it changed its constitution on 15th November 1968.
The Society promotes, supports and develops Hand Surgery in the United Kingdom. The Society organises two scientific meetings each year with a comprehensive research and lecturing programme supported by national and international speakers. The twice-yearly Instructional Course in Manchester follows a three-year curriculum and is attended by delegated form the UK and Europe. The Society runs its own Hand Surgery Diploma through the University of Manchester with tutorials, structured learning, projects and an examination. The BSSH will be starting an MSc in Hand Surgery this year.
The European Journal of Hand Surgery is owned by the BSSH although has an international Editorial Board and is the foremost Hand Surgery Journal in the world with an impact factor of 2.1. The Journal has published since 1984 and, before that, as the “Hand” since 1969.
The BSSH co-ordinates a national Training Interface Hand Fellowship programme for senior trainees from either Plastic Surgery or Orthopaedic Surgery; over 200 surgeons have completed this programme since its inception in 1992.
The Society has instituted, and continues to develop, a national research network which will facilitate properly funded multi-centre trials to answer key questions. There is also an audit tool for the routine collection of data for certain procedures which allows comparison of the individual surgeon’s results with those of their peers.
The BSSH is a founding member of the Healing Foundation, a charity to support those afflicted, and those researching into, disfigurement. With substantial financial support from the BSSH, the Healing Foundation has just appointed a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham to establish a centre for evidence based research in Hand Surgery.
The Society is a member of the Federation of European Societies for Surgery of the Hand (FESSH) as well as the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand (IFFSH).