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Royal College of Surgeons of England announces new President

13 Feb 2020

We are delighted to announce that Professor Neil Mortensen has been voted in as our next President. Professor Mortensen will take up office in July 2020 and serve a three-year term to July 2023. The current President, Professor Derek Alderson, steps down having served a successful three-year term.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Mortensen said:

“After seven years on the Council of the RCS, it is a huge honour to have been elected as President.

“Derek Alderson will be a tough act to follow. Derek has driven a raft of extraordinary achievements – in the public policy field, through the media, in research, in global affairs and in overseeing development of a new HQ. His personal commitment and dedication to the RCS has been unrelenting.

“I look forward to working with the Trustees, Council, members, stakeholders and staff to continue the good work.”

Professor Derek Alderson, the current President of the RCS, said:

“Congratulations to Neil. He will be a great asset to the RCS’ work advancing surgical care, taking up the post at an important point in our long history.

“This year we will move into our flagship HQ and launch a new 5-year plan. I am confident that under Neil’s leadership, the Royal College of Surgeons of England will remain a national and world leader in surgery.”

Professor Neil Mortensen was first elected as a member of the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2013. He has chaired RCS committees covering a range of topics including research and quality, publications, heritage and membership. Neil trained in Birmingham, Bristol and St Mark’s Hospital and has clinical and research interests in a wide range of colorectal diseases. First appointed a consultant surgeon in 1983, Professor Mortensen campaigned for the recognition of colorectal surgery as a specialty. He 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.


Notes to editors

  1. Neil Mortensen 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 Fellow of Green Templeton College. 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. Neil is immediate past Editor in Chief of the journal Colorectal Disease, and 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).
  2. The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.
  3. For more information, please contact the RCS press office: telephone: 020 7869 6047; email:; out-of-hours media enquiries: 07966 486832.

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