MA, MBBS, FRCS(ORL-HNS),
Editor, ENT & Audiology News;
Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon,
Wexham Park Hospital,
Slough, Berkshire, UK.
We are living in extraordinary times. As I write this message, the COVID-19 pandemic is just about to engulf the UK, and we are in a phase of preparation for the worst. We know that all healthcare workers will be stretched to the limit, and that they will be required to work outside their areas of clinical expertise and simply to do their best. It is a period of great fear for many of us, not only because of our own friends and families, but also because we see reports of ENT surgeons and intensivists being infected and dying of the disease. We will be featuring tributes to our colleagues in future issues (and we can only pray that there will not be too many), but for May/Jun we have an obituary of Amged El-Hawrani, who was the first ENT surgeon in the UK to die of the disease.
As a global community, there has been a huge amount of support and advice on social media, and national bodies (ENT UK for example) have been immensely proactive and helpful in providing clinical guidance in this rapidly-evolving situation.
When this pandemic is over, the world will look like a very different place: from social interactions to travel; from medical care to entertainment and leisure – nothing will function in the same way again. The global economy will undoubtedly suffer for many years to come, and it is clear that all of these events will define our generation. Our coverage of the ENT aspects of COVID-19 can be found here.
For May/June of ENT & Audiology News (obviously compiled before the current situation arose), we look at multidisciplinary team working. Jo Rimmer has commissioned a series of articles looking at a number of different teams – you can find her introduction here. Our Audiology Features, collated by Guest Editor, Marsha Jenkins, also explore multidisciplinary working in a variety of settings and conditions – you can find her introduction here. In the midst of so much tragedy, it was with great sorrow that we learned of the death of the skull base surgeon, Prof David Moffat. He was a leading light in the global skull base community for over 30 years; we will be featuring a tribute from his friend and colleague, Prof Richard Ramsden, in the next edition of the magazine. Finally, I just wanted to thank the many companies who advertise in this magazine. They have been hit hard by the current crisis, and we very much hope that they are all able to ride out the storm. It’s thanks to them that we are able to continue publishing and supporting the profession.