• The College crest over the entrance to College Hall

    The College crest over the entrance to College Hall

  • First address to the College at the AGM in 2015

    First address to the College at the AGM in 2015

  • Main entrance to the College

    Main entrance to the College

The third biggest killer

There is a worldwide cultural problem which is afflicting the delivery of healthcare.The result is that, for the UK, it has been estimated that there are some 200 avoidable deaths in our hospitals every week.In addition there are the numerous episodes of harm that result...

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HOPE: The Royal College Foundation

While the roots of our Royal College reach back to the sixteenth century it is evident that the role and relevance of our mission is just as critical today as it was when our founders responded to the health inequalities and variable outcomes which applied 400 years ago.We continue to strive to improve healthcare by ensuring that physicians, surgeons and health professionals are trained to the highest professional standards.One of our significant contributions is grounded in the standard of our assessments – benchmarks of clinical skill and professionalism which are recognised worldwide...

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Dum Spiro Spero

I have just returned from an excellent visit to Malaysia where I had the privilege of delivering the prestigious AM Ismail Oration at the Opening Ceremony of the Malaysian College of Surgeons Annual Clinical Congress in Kuching.The lecture is named for one of the most visionary leaders in clinical surgery in the Asia Pacific region.

Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Haji Abdul Majid Bin Ismail was born in 1921...

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Surgery365 at Excellence in Healthcare

Now would be an ideal time to rearrange your plans and make sure you attend the Excellence in Healthcare Conference coming up on the 8th and 9th June 2017.I have just been reviewing the programme and I am certain you will agree that it is full of interest and a superb opportunity to hear some world class international speakers.There is also the easy option to dip into topics and sessions which might not be in your immediate areas of expertise...

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Excellence in Healthcare

I am excited about our fast approaching Excellence in Healthcare triennial conference.

It is now only 10 weeks away and I encourage you to make sure this fantastic multidisciplinary conference is in your schedule.

The conference will have four parallel streams running and we are thrilled to have an outstanding group of high profile and international keynote speakers delivering cutting-edge education across each discipline...

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Crisis and Consequences

The notion that the NHS is under more pressure than ever before is expressed on a daily basis in the media.Headlines indicating hospitals declaring a so called ‘black alert’, the four-hour wait limit in Emergency Departments being over-run, bed blocking and concerns over social care provision have been the focus of anxiety over the past couple of months.

It feels as though our celebrated service is being overwhelmed by the demands and expectations of patients and providers alike...

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Action to reverse the trend of obesity

A chance conversation in a clinic corridor changed the direction of my specialty practice.

The clinical problem concerned a 21 year old woman with severe obesity and poorly controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus.The diabetologist had tried various strategies to keep the blood sugar under some control...

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Holes in the safety net: can peer review be trusted?

I sometimes re-read the account of New York physicist Alan D Sokal’s famous spoof article to bring a sense of reality to the hyped realm of published scientific evidence.Admittedly in that case, some 20 years ago this year, it was centred less on peer review and more on an appeal to editorial ideology but it is a salutary read in any case.Sokal was so irritated by the tendency for certain journals to be less than rigorous in approving articles for publication that he decided to test his theory by submitting an article which was completely fabricated...

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Fundamental flaws in the evidence base

A really important question for evidence based medicine is ‘How reliable are the conclusions drawn from research projects?’ As an enterprise, and not just in medicine, there is a somewhat jaundiced view of scientific endeavour that made me stop and take stock.We have been taken hostage by the notion that an evidence base is the only rational way in which we can draw conclusions to advance our understanding and answer the intriguing questions that we face.The recurring concern was articulated again in the Spectator last month and an editor of the Lancet was quoted as indicating that ‘much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.’ Such a bold claim surely requires a secure evidence base to stand...

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No room for complacency

In 1945, Sir Alexander Fleming was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine along with Ernst Chain and Sir Howard Florey “for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases”.

It was uncanny that Fleming recognised and predicted the very danger which now besets clinical practice – the problem of antibiotic resistance. As early as two years after the initial widespread distribution of penicillin, evidence of antibiotic resistance was noticed...

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