ESPO 2023


ESPO 2023 Programme Update

MAY 2022

Preparations are in full swing for what we expect will be a really exciting get-together in May 2023. The theme is ‘Science, Clinicians and families- better together’, with an emphasis on how paediatric ORL specialists use scientific and technological developments to bring about better care for children and their families. The keynote speakers will highlight links between science and clinical practice. Infectious diseases paediatrician Prof Sir Andrew Pollard will be well known to many for his work developing the Covid 19 vaccine at Oxford, UK. His interests span a range of infections relevant to ORL, including the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Prof Sir Stephen O’ Rahilly (Cambridge UK) is a distinguished physician/scientist whose discoveries have transformed the management of some cases of childhood obesity, but his main passion is in bringing research discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic.

Plenary sessions will include updates on Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, ORL infections, managing an airway service, new approaches to the skull base, tumours in the head and neck, and a new stream on innovation and education in paediatric ORL. Here much of the focus will be on the non-technical skills so important in the delivery of good patient care. ESPO Juniors are very much involved in planning the programme, and our young colleagues will be especially welcome at the Simulation Centre where we will have stations for hands-on teaching in a range of ORL procedures including bronchoscopy, tracheostomy, otological implants and endoscopic airway surgery.

Get the dates in your diary and bookmark the website for regular updates.

We look forward to seeing you in May 2023.

Kind Regards, 







   Ray Clarke                   Sujata De

 On behalf of the Programme Committee for ESPO Liverpool 2023                             



Welcome from the ESPO 2023 Programme Committee


A warm welcome awaits ESPO delegates in Liverpool in May 2023.

We are working to put together a really special programme for the first face-to-face meeting since 2018 of ESPO friends and colleagues. It will be worth the wait!

The academic programme will focus on recent developments and challenging cases, with plenty opportunities for delegates to learn from acknowledged experts across the whole range of pediatric ORL. We are working with international colleagues and with our ‘ESPO Junior’ friends to make sure Liverpool ESPO 2023 will have something for everybody.

The ‘Simulation Centre’ will be a key feature of the conference, with opportunities for junior and senior colleagues alike to develop their skills in multiple ORL procedures including airway endoscopy, otological implants, tracheostomy and state-of-the art virtual reality surgical simulators under the supervision of a world-class faculty. Debates, hot topics, top tips, and lively panel discussions will ensure you leave wanting more.

Liverpool is a wonderful cosmopolitan European city with a rich heritage and with links to every corner of the globe given its long history as a major port. We have a top-class waterside conference centre, and you will have many opportunities to explore the birthplace of modern popular music.

We promise you a rich and rewarding experience, a dedicated and enthusiastic faculty, but most importantly the chance to meet friends and colleagues in a warm and relaxed setting following the long Covid-induced dearth of academic get-togethers.  


See you in May 2023.


Ray Clarke and Su De

ESPO 2023 Programme Committee

Ray headshot.jpg
Sujata De headshot.jpg

Some of the Liverpool team visiting Mathew Street.
The Cavern Club in the background, made famous by the Beatles

Ray's Rambles Blog - Post 1

Superlambananas outside the Museum of Liverpool


Welcome to Liverpool.

As you walk along the waterfront from the conference centre to take in the magnificent views across the river Mersey you may be puzzled to come across a number of these odd hybrid creatures! The ‘superlambanana’ was a large (5 metes tall) statue based on the artist’s idiosyncratic vision of the future of genetic engineering combined with a look toward Liverpool’s past. It is a fusion of a lamb and a banana, each of which would have been common sights on the Liverpool docks in the days when the dockside was bustling with cargo ships. The original statue- the creation of New York/Japanese artist Taro Chiezo – was bright yellow, and was adopted as a symbol of the city during Liverpool’s year as European city of culture (2008). It became so popular and such an iconic feature of the city that multiple copies began to appear at various locations, and the tradition continues. Many are elaborately painted and decorated, and they have become a celebration of the quirky self-deprecating humour that Liverpool is famous for. A look to the future, with a glance at the past, perhaps a good metaphor for ESPO 2023. A great backdrop for ‘selfies’, see how many ‘lambananas’ you can spot on your rambles around the conference centre in May 2023!

Ray's Rambles Blog - Post 2

The ‘Fab Four’


The most popular backdrop to ’selfies’ in Liverpool is undoubtedly the bronze statue of the Beatles at the Pier Head on the waterfront.

You can visit many of the sites associated with the Beatles, there is a Beatles Experience Museum, several themed walks and tours, and of course the music. Oldies (like me!) can relive the ‘swinging sixties’, while youngsters can get a feel for why their Mums, Dads and grandparents went wild about these four Liverpool lads. 

Ray's Rambles Blog - Post 3

The Tragedy of the Arandora Star


A monument on the Liverpool waterfront commemorates a sad event in the history of the city, one that will have particular poignancy for Italian and German colleagues 
The ‘Arandora Star’ was originally a luxury liner. She was re-purposed during WW2 and set sail from Liverpool in July 1940 with over 1600 passengers and crew on board. The passengers were mainly civilians, Italian and German nationals living in the UK at the outbreak of war who had been detained and interned. Many were elderly and infirm. They were being transported to internment camps in Canada. Grossly overcrowded and with few lifeboats, the ship was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland and more than 800 lives were lost. Bodies were washed up on beaches for months afterwards; many of the victims are buried in coastal graveyards in Ireland and Scotland.
You can see a model of the Arandora Star at the Maritime Museum, a short walk from the conference centre.

Ray's Rambles Blog - Post 4

'Back-to-back' houses


This terrace in Duke Street Liverpool boasts modern urban apartments much sought-after by young professionals who like to live and work in the heart of the city. Their sleek external appearance belies their origins. They were built in the nineteenth century as ‘back-to-back’ houses, so called because the houses behind were mirror images, separated by a wall, so that there was only one combined entrance and exit for each house. Housing and sanitation conditions for the poor in nineteenth and early twentieth century Liverpool were shocking. Fire was an ever-present danger. Each of these doors would have served up to four families, one per floor, with the worst living conditions in the basement or ‘cellar’. Two outside toilets or ‘privies’ and one water pump would have provided for the whole terrace. Diphtheria, cholera, typhoid and dysentery were commonplace. Infant mortality rates were among the worst in the UK, prompting major reforms in public health policies.

Most ‘slum dwellings’ were demolished from the nineteen fifties onwards, but a small number -such as these- were modernized and converted in an urban renewal programme. Duke Street is now home to many fine restaurants which delegates can visit in May 2023.

Ray's Rambles Blog - Post 5

Liverpool's 'Baltic triangle'

Liverpool has long and much cherished links with the Baltic countries. In the heyday of the city as a major port, ships from Northern Europe would unload their cargo here. Dockside warehouses housed grain, wood and other merchandise from Northern Europe. As the shipping industry declined, some of the old storehouses fell into disrepair, but an enthusiastic urban renewal project in the last few years has brought the area back to life. It is now a ‘hip’ quarter, and home to craft shops, artisan bakeries, cafes, restaurants and art studios. The warehouse walls are a favoured site for graffiti and an ever-changing variety of street art.

The Baltic Triangle is a short walk from the conference centre. All that education can be thirsty work, so take some time out to enjoy a craft beer!


Ray's Rambles Blog - Post 6

The Chinese Arch

We Liverpudlians are proud of our historical association with Chinese friends and colleagues.

The Chinese Arch in Liverpool marks the entrance to ‘Chinatown’, home to the oldest Chinese

neighborhood in Europe. The arch was gifted to the city of Liverpool by Shanghai, where it was put

together by skilled craftsmen and women. It boasts two hundred dragons, five roofs and two magnificent

bronze lions, positioned in accordance with the principles of ‘Feng-Shui’. The arch commemorates long

and much-prized trade and cultural associations between the cities.

Chinese dock workers arrived in Liverpool in the early eighteenth century, when they traded silk and

cotton goods. The Blue Funnel shipping line employed large numbers of Chinese seamen. Inevitably

many succumbed to the charms of the local Liverpool women! A strong and much-loved community soon

developed, and several Chinese businesses thrive to this day.

Chinatown is a short walk from the Conference Centre. Well worth a visit when you attend ESPO in the Chinese ‘year of the rabbit’, 2023!

Arandora Star_edited.jpg
Backtoback Houses.jpeg
Chinese Arch small.jpg