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About the new RCS Council members elected in 2020

The newly elected Council members are due to start their term in July 2020. Three members are successfully re-standing and all current RCS Council members' bios can be read here.
Ahmed Ahmed, RCS Council member July 2020
Mr Ahmed Ahmed
Consultant Surgeon, Bariatric Surgery, St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare Trust. Twitter: @MrAhmedAhmed6
Mr Ahmed Ahmed

Read Ahmed's bio

Ahmed Ahmed is a Consultant Bariatric Surgeon at St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT). After qualifying from UCL Medical School, he trained in general and upper GI surgery in London and at Stanford University (surgical resident) and the University of Rochester (MIS Fellowship) in the US. His main areas of interest are in complex revisional bariatric surgeries. He trains other surgeons in the field of bariatric surgery, runs the RCS senior clinical fellowship in bariatric surgery at ICHT and is on the faculty of numerous courses on bariatric surgery. 

Ahmed is actively involved in bariatric surgery research having completed a PhD degree in mechanisms of complications after gastric bypass surgery at Imperial College London. He is a clinical senior lecturer at Imperial College London and has more than 200 publications in peer reviewed journals. His research interests include bariatric embolisation (EMBIO trial), low pressure surgery, the OR Black Box, tele-monitoring of patients post discharge and internal hernias. He was recently awarded a NIHR EME grant for his EMBIO trial. He is the clinical specialty lead for surgery for NW London and is a member of council of the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS).

Professor Peter Brennan 
Consultant Surgeon, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth. Twitter: @brennansurgeon
Professor Peter Brennan 

Read Peter's bio

Peter Brennan is a NHS Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon in Portsmouth, specialising in head and neck oncology with a personal chair for his research and education achievements. He is a committed trainer and educator, collaborating across specialties and disciplines.

Peter is Lead Editor of the new Gray’s Surgical Anatomy textbook and supervises important MRCS predictive validity and differential attainment research for the four Surgical Colleges. He has been Surgical Specialty Association (BAOMS) President, Chairman of the English College Court of Examiners and Intercollegiate Committee Chair for MRCS and DOHNS. He has recently led the MRCS major review.

Peter is interested in human factors (HF) and patient safety, establishing unique collaborations with airline pilots, National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team (Red Arrows). His work improves practice across surgical and medical specialties and includes reducing hierarchy, enhancing team working and raising awareness of many personal factors to reduce medical error. In 2019, he was awarded a PhD entitled ‘Applying HF to Improve Patient Safety.’

He promotes equality, women in surgery, trainees and SAS grades at every opportunity. Peter says that he 'is humbled, honoured, slightly daunted but excited at this great opportunity to join College Council'.

Rachel Hargest, RCS Council member July 2020
Miss Rachel Hargest
Consultant Surgeon, General Surgery, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff
Miss Rachel Hargest

Read Rachel's bio

Rachel Hargest is an academic colorectal surgeon at the Cardiff China Medical Research Collaborative. Her clinical interests include anal cancer and AIN, advanced colorectal cancer, polyposis and other familial cancers and intestinal failure, for which the team in Cardiff won the BMJ Gastroenterology Team of the Year Award 2015.

She is an expert teacher and trainer of students and junior surgeons. In 2019 she was awarded the inaugural FST Medal by the Faculty of Surgical Trainers of RCS Edinburgh in recognition of exceptional and long-standing contribution to surgical training. In 2017 she was presented with the Silver Scalpel Award, given by ASIT to the best surgical trainer in the UK.

Her research interests include genetic changes in colorectal, gastric and lung cancer metastases, early diagnosis of colorectal cancer, gene therapy, anal fistula and the role of guidelines in controlling surgical practice. She supervises both MD and PhD students in Cardiff and Beijing.

She is a trustee of SARS, and a member of many professional associations, including ACPGBI, ASGBI, BSG, Royal Society of Medicine (Past President of Surgery Section 2016-17, and former Trustee 2012-19) and The British Society of Gene and Stem Cell Therapy.

Ian Loftus RCS Council member July 2020
Professor Ian Loftus
Professor of Vascular Surgery, St George’s Hospital, London. Twitter: @IanLoftus2
Professor Ian Loftus

Read Ian's bio

Ian Loftus was trained as an academic vascular surgeon in Leicester and moved to London to help develop a regional complex aortic surgery programme. He is now Professor of Vascular Surgery at St George’s, University of London.

He is Past-President of the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland and the British Society for Endovascular Therapy. He has been involved in the development of the UK National Vascular Registry (NVR) including publication of outcomes, and is Chair of the NVR Programme Board. He is currently Deputy-Chair of the National Clinical Reference Group for vascular surgery.

Other roles include Regional Director of the National Aneurysm Screening Programme, past Clinical Tutor for Critical Care at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, past Chair of the UK Vascular Society Committee for Audit and Quality Improvement, and member of the Department of Health working party on peri-operative care.

Professor Loftus has published over 250 articles, is co-author of the 2018 European guidelines for the management of aortic aneurysms and co-editor of the Companion to Specialist Surgical Practice, ‘Vascular and Endovascular Surgery’.

He cares passionately for the profession of surgery and the wellbeing of those that work within it.

Frank Smith, RCS Council member July 2020
Professor Frank Smith
Professor of Vascular Surgery and Surgical Education, North Bristol NHS Healthcare Trust
Professor Frank Smith

Read Frank's bio

Frank Smith is Professor of Vascular Surgery and Surgical Education at the University of Bristol. He trained in Vascular Surgery in the West Midlands, Edinburgh and the South West, undertaking travelling fellowships to Boston, Denver, Los Angeles and Seattle. He was a recipient of an RCS England research pump-priming grant and College Tutor for Basic Surgical Skills.

He has been a member of the Vascular Society Council and Training Committee, both General and Vascular SACs, Lead for National Vascular Trainee Selection, and President of the Section of Surgery at the Royal Society of Medicine.

He chaired the South West (Severn and Peninsular) Regional Surgical Training Committee. In 2006 he was appointed Programme Director for CORESS. His interests in surgical safety have since included roles with NCEPOD; NHS England Never Events Task Force; developing the National Safety Standards for Invasive Procedures (NatSSIPs); and as editorial advisor to RCS England Safety Bulletins. He is currently Chair of ICBSE on behalf of the four Royal Colleges of Surgeons, and a member of the NICE Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee.

His interests away from surgery include his family and triathlon. He has over 1,000 hours as a private pilot, and around 1.800 skydives.

Lasanthe Wijesinghe, RCS Council member July 2020
Mr Lasantha Wijesinghe
Consultant Surgeon, Vascular Surgery, Royal Bournemouth Hospital
Mr Lasantha Wijesinghe

Read Lasantha's bio

Lasantha Wijesinghe (known to friends and colleagues as Wije) was born in Sri Lanka and graduated from Cambridge University in 1989 where he was awarded the Lewin Prize in Surgery. His House jobs were in Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds. He went on to work at the Accident Hospital in Birmingham followed by a year as Demonstrator under Prof. Harold Ellis.

An SHO rotation in Addenbrooke’s Hospital led to his FRCS in 1994, followed by a Calman Registrar rotation in Yorkshire. Here he cemented his interest in vascular surgery having worked in York, Scarborough, Hull and the two major centres in Leeds. He subsequently won the Gold Medal of the ASGBI in the FRCS (Gen) examination and was awarded his MD Thesis from Leeds University. In 2002 he was appointed to his post as Consultant Vascular Surgeon in Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Wije has served on the Council of the Vascular Society, as Regional Professional Advisor for the RCS and examines for the FRCS and FEBVS examinations.

Wije is married with three adult children, none of whom have the remotest interest in surgery. He has a strong interest in the training and education of junior doctors, physician’s associates, nurses, and is a Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University. In his spare time he is a volunteer and sponsor of several Christian and secular organisations, an enthusiastic cricketer and a fair-weather walker.

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