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Mayor of Greater Manchester opens new training hub for surgeons

06 Jun 2018

Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) launches RCS Outreach Hub North and Midlands at University of Manchester Innovation Centre (UMIC)

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, will officially open the Royal College of Surgeons’ new Outreach hub at the University of Manchester Innovation Centre today (6 June). The new hub will give the RCS a full-time, staffed presence in the North and Midlands.  

Andy Burnham will attend a launch event alongside Professor Derek Alderson, President of the RCS, members of its council, its regional representatives in the North and Midlands, and Professor Peter Clayton, Head of the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Manchester. Professor Robert Bristow, an expert in the progression and treatment response of prostate cancer at the University, will also speak at the event. 

The role of the RCS Outreach Hub North and Midlands office is to support members, regional volunteers and surgical societies.  RCS faculty members will also deliver the College’s wide range of educational courses and practical workshops for surgeons and other medical professionals at all stages of their careers, using the state of the art facilities at the Manchester Surgical Skills and Simulation Centre (MSSSC) at the university. 

The RCS has listened to the views of it’s over 25,000 members in the UK and internationally, and sought to setup a permanent home for the RCS outside of London, where its headquarters are.  

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: 
“I’m incredibly proud that the Royal College of Surgeons has chosen to make Manchester its home in the North and Midlands. Greater Manchester is already leading the way as the first city-region in the UK to take control of its combined health and social care budgets. We want our model for health and social care to be an inspiration for the rest of the country. 
“By establishing a new base in our city and at the University of Manchester in particular, it confirms that Manchester is viewed as a centre of innovation and excellence. We look forward to welcoming the many exceptional surgeons and medical professionals that the Royal College of Surgeons trains and supports to our wonderful city.”

Professor Derek Alderson said:

“We are very pleased to be able to launch RCS North and Midlands today with the Mayor of Greater Manchester. We hope Manchester, and our members, will see it as a sign of our commitment to developing surgical skills, and innovation, throughout the country. The University of Manchester’s excellent facilities allow us to offer the wide range of cross-specialty training and professional development courses surgeons and other medical professionals have come to expect from the RCS at the highest possible standards.” 

Professor Peter Clayton, Head of the School of Medical Sciences, University of Manchester said:

“The role that the Royal Colleges play in benefiting patients and healthcare in the UK is immeasurable and the University is honoured and delighted that the College has chosen to partner with us to deliver a significant portion of its education programme and to establish a hub for the North and Midlands. For the surgeons who will pass through these doors, the value of being able to update their skills and the opportunity for the RCS to train more junior colleagues in a simulated environment will make a significant contribution to the skills of these professionals."

The partnership with the University of Manchester has come about as the RCS embarks on a major redevelopment of its London home, limiting the courses it can provide in its own buildings for the next three years. 

The RCS is redeveloping its ‘Barry-designed’ grade II* listed building as part of Project Transform, which will see the redeveloped space become a modern and light facility, providing the best education, examination and research resources for the nation’s surgeons. The project will refurbish and maintain the historic façade and library.

The RCS also announced a partnership with St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at the start of this year, enabling its education courses to be delivered at St George’s and establishing a hub for the south of England. 

The full list of surgical and dental courses that the Royal College of Surgeons offers is available here

Notes to editors

1. 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.

2. For more information, please contact the RCS Press Office: Telephone: 020 7869 6047/6052; Email:; For out of hours media enquiries: 07966 486832

3. About The University of Manchester
The University of Manchester, a member of the prestigious Russell Group, is the UK’s largest single-site university with more than 40,000 students – including more than 10,000 from overseas. It is consistently ranked among the world’s elite for graduate employability.
The University is also one of the country’s major research institutions, rated fifth in the UK in terms of ‘research power’ (REF 2014). World-class research is carried out across a diverse range of fields including cancer, advanced materials, addressing global inequalities, energy and industrial biotechnology. 
No fewer than 25 Nobel laureates have either worked or studied here. 
It is the only UK university to have social responsibility among its core strategic objectives, with staff and students alike dedicated to making a positive difference in communities around the world.
Manchester is ranked 38th in the world in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017 and 6th in the UK. 
Visit for further information.
Facts and figures: 
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4. Speakers at RCS North and Midlands launch event:

Andy Burnham – Mayor of Greater Manchester

Andy Burnham was elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester in May 2017. 

Prior to this Andy was MP for Leigh from 2001. In government, Andy has held Ministerial positions at the Home Office, Department of Health and the Treasury. In 2008 he became Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, before returning to Health as Secretary of State in 2009.

In opposition, Andy has served as Shadow Education Secretary, Shadow Health Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary. 

Professor Derek Alderson - President of the Royal College of Surgeons

Derek Alderson is an emeritus Professor of Surgery at the University of Birmingham.  He was Professor of Surgery at the University of Bristol from 1997-2005 before becoming the Barling Professor of Surgery and  Head of Department in Birmingham, a post he held until October 2015. A former President of the Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, his main clinical interest is in oesophago-gastric cancer surgery. He has a long association with the British Journal of Surgery. He was Editor in Chief from 2010 to 2016 and is now the Editor in Chief of BJS Open. In 2017 he was elected President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Professor Peter Clayton – Head of the School of Medical Sciences, University of Manchester

Peter Clayton is Vice-Dean and Head of the School of Medical Sciences in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester.

He is a Professor of Child Health and Paediatric Endocrinology and an honorary consultant at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and The Christie Hospital. 

He graduated from Manchester University Medical School in 1984, having obtained a first class intercalated degree in Physiology & Pharmacology in 1981.  He did his early paediatric training around Manchester before embarking on an academic career in Paediatric Endocrinology.  He spent time at the University of 
Virginia, USA as a MRC Travelling Fellow in 1990/1. His primary research is centred on understanding mechanisms leading to disordered growth and development. 

He is one of seven consultants who provide a tertiary paediatric endocrine service across the North West of England, and a nationally commissioned service for children with congenital hyperinsulinism. He has organised and chaired a number of International Consensus meetings on aspects of paediatric endocrinology, including Transition, that have shaped world-wide clinical practice. 

Professor Robert Bristow  - University Professor of Cancer Studies, Director of MCRC

Robert Bristow MD PhD FRCPC is University Professor of Cancer Studies in the Division of Cancer Sciences (The University of Manchester) and Chief Academic Officer at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.  
He was previously a Clinician-Scientist and Professor within the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

His primary research interests are in tumour hypoxia, DNA damage signalling and DNA repair in tumours, and the genomics of prostate cancer progression and cancer treatment response. He is particularly interested in novel clinical trials that intensify cancer therapy to prostate cancer patients whose tumours harbour aggressive genetic changes and hypoxic sub-regions. 

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