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Illness to wellness conference

Start 9:00 AM
End 4:45 PM
St John's College, Oxford
St Giles'
View in Google Maps
  • TBC

Event Overview


Recent studies have revealed a high level of burnout among doctors and medical students in the UK. Pressure within the profession has lead to serious psychological and emotional conditions. So, how can medical professionals support themselves and their teams?


How will I benefit?

Attending this event will provide:

  • tips and discussions on how to prevent burnout and build resilience in the surgical team;
  • an insight into how the RCS and other organisations are working to support surgeons and the theatre teams;
  • develop and understanding of the personal impact of adverse events and the availability of formal and informal support.




Please find full conference programme here.

The programme includes sessions on:

  • responding to adverse outcomes;
  • avoiding burnout and understanding different coping styles;
  • working to support doctors wellbeing;
  • the difference between complications and errors; 
  • effectiveness of psychological interventions. 



Hosted by our RCS South-Central Regional Director, Andrew Miles, this CPD accredited conference has an exciting programme featuring:

  • Clare Gerada, Medical Director of the NHS Practioner Health Programme, discussing how to support doctors wellbeing;
  • Professor Neil Mortensen, RCS Vice President, talking on supporting health professions - a surgeon's experience;
  • Professor Kevin Turner, Consultant Urologist, on the multiple means in which RCS is supporting teams after the occurrence of adverse events;
  • Helen Bolderston, Chartered Clinical Psychologist, explaining how to build resilience;
  • Tom Rapanakis, Head of Wellbeing Services at BMA, on how the BMA supports doctors under stress;
  • Professor Tan Arulampalam, Consultant Surgeon and Visiting Professor of Surgery, on avoiding burnout.



Who should attend?

This free* one day conference is open to all specialties and career grades. Surgeons, anaesthetists and other members of the surgical team are welcome to join us to explore how we can work together to promote and support mental health and wellbeing among the theatre staff.



Join today!

Are you a member of the RCS? Fellows and members are entitled to discounts off events like this one, plus many more membership benefits including 10% off selected education courses, careers advice, case studies and resources and access to regular e-newsletters and popular publications. Find out more about our membership benefits today.


* Free event for RCS and RCoA members and fellows (refundable deposit). Please note the Eventbrite admin fee is non-refundable.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the events team at



Please check our full conference programme here.

Helen Bolderston

Helen has 30 years’ experience as a clinical psychologist, working in NHS mental health services and more recently as a lecturer and researcher at Bournemouth University. She trains and supervises clinical psychologists and psychotherapists nationally and internationally, specialising in empirically-supported mindfulness-based psychotherapies. She is a member of the Bournemouth University Adverse Events Research Team. The aim of the team is to generate original research data concerning the impact of adverse events on surgeons and to develop and trial novel interventions designed to ameliorate that impact.


Clare Gerada

Clare had just passed her 26th year milestone working in the same GP practice in South London. She began working there having first trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital (where incidentally she met her husband, Simon Wessely). Clare has worked at the interface between mental health and primary care ever since with a special interest in the care of substance misusers, the homeless and currently mentally ill doctors. For the last decade she has led the largest physician health service in Europe and to date the service has had over 5000 doctors and dentists with mental illness’ present to it. Clare led the Royal College of General Practitioners between 2011-2013, only the second women in its’ history to at its head. Clare trained in group analysis, obtaining the diploma of Group Analysis in 2014. She uses her experience from this field to help understand why doctors are so unhappy. Clare is proud that other than when on annual leave she is still a front line GP and even does her fair share of out of hours work. In 2019 Clare was elected the Co-Chair of the NHS Assembly.


Andrew Miles

Andrew is an RCS Council Member and Chair of the Regional Directors committee; ACPGBI council member and Chair of the Independent Healthcare Committee. Previously he was the training programme director for general surgery in Wessex and a past member of the SAC in general surgery. Andrew graduated from St Thomas’s Hospital medical school in 1984, and gained FRCS while working as a registrar at the Westminster Hospital in 1988. He has been a consultant colorectal surgeon in Winchester since 1999 and is an honorary senior lecturer and director for the MS coloproctology degree course at UEA. The first UK graduate to gain EBSQ coloproctology in 1997, he is a faculty member for minimally invasive colorectal surgery at the Johnson & Johnson Insitute, Hamburg.


Neil Mortensen

Neil is Professor of Colorectal Surgery in the University of Oxford Medical School and has been on the staff of the Oxford University Hospitals since 1987. He is a Fellow of Green Templeton College. He trained in Birmingham, Bristol and St Mark’s Hospital and has clinical and research interests in a wide range of colorectal diseases. He has published over 300 original papers, 30 book chapters and has edited 8 books. He is Past Chair of the British Journal of Surgery Society, President of the Ileostomy Association, and has been Past President of the Association of Coloproctology GBI and the Coloproctology Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. He is Editor in Chief of the journal Colorectal Disease. He has given a number of named lectures including Arris and Gale, Goligher, Sir Alan Parks, Honeyman-Gillespie and Bryan Brooke (UK); Duran Smith, Harry Bacon, Charles Buie, Greenstein and Frykman-Goldberg (USA); Edward Wilson Memorial and CSSANZ Oration (Australia), Gimbernat prize (Spain); Fritz de Quervain (Swiss), Gerhard Buess Memorial Lecture (Norway). Since his appointment in Oxford, he campaigned for the recognition of colorectal surgery as a specialty and created the present department. Neil founded the first patient association for those with ileoanal pouches, the Kangaroo Club, and in 2004 the charity OCCTOPUS – Oxford Colon Cancer Trust which supports education, research and new technology in colorectal diseases. He became a member of the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2013.


Tom Rapanakis

Tom is responsible for the BMA’s provision of wellbeing support services to doctors and medical students across the UK. This includes 24/7 counselling and peer support, available regardless of BMA membership. He sits on the board for DocHealth, an independent psychotherapy service for doctors. Tom is part of the organising committee for the International Conference on Physician Health, and a member of the steering group for the England-wide rollout of PHP.


Kevin Turner

Kevin was appointed as a Consultant Urological Surgeon in Bournemouth in 2007 and is a Visiting Professor at Bournemouth University. He trained in Oxford, Edinburgh and Melbourne. In 2015 he co-founded the Bournemouth Adverse Events Research Team with colleagues in the Department of Psychology at Bournemouth University. The aim of the team is to generate original research data concerning the impact of adverse events on surgeons and to develop and trial novel interventions designed to ameliorate that impact. 


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