He was educated at Roundhay School, Leeds and The London Hospital Medical College University of London. His surgical training was in London, Bristol, Leeds and UCLA, Los Angeles, where he went as a Fulbright scholar in 1980. In 1982 he was appointed Senior Lecturer/Honorary Consultant Surgeon at the University of Leeds and the Leeds General Infirmary. He subsequently was appointed to the Chair of Surgery at his alma mater in 1986 and in 1995 became the Head of the merged Academic Department of Surgery of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London and Honorary Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at The Royal London Hospital. His main clinical interests have revolved around sphincter saving procedures and his scientific endeavours have concentrated on gastrointestinal pathophysiology.
He is senior editor of the 27th Edition of Bailey and Love’s “Short Practice of Surgery” (having co-edited five previous editions), co-author of “Surgery of the Anus, Rectum and Colon” now in its fourth Edition and was a founding trustee, Chairman and President of Bowel & Cancer Research. He was awarded the Patey Prize of the Surgical Research Society (1978), the Moynihan Travelling Fellowship (1985), the Society of Authors’ Prize (Jointly 1995) the Nessim Habif Prize, University of Geneva (1995), the Galen Medal of the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries (2003) and the Cutler’s Surgical Prize (jointly in 2011).
He has been President of the Society of Academic & Research Surgery, President of The Ileostomy & Internal Pouch Support Group, Chair of the UKCCCR committee on Colorectal Cancer, President of European Digestive Surgery, President of The International Surgical Group and Vice Chair of The British Journal of Surgery.
He was a member of the Secretary of State for Health’s Transparency Group (2014-15), chaired the European Working Time Regulations Taskforce (2013-14), co-chaired the Duty of Candour Review (2014) and was the Medical Advisor to Sir Robert Francis’ “Freedom to Speak Up Review” (2014-15). He was Chair of Health Education England’s Commission on Training for Patient Safety (2015-16) and Chair of NHS England’s National Patient Safety Collaborative (2014-16).
In October 2015 he was appointed senior clinical adviser to the then Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt. During this period he chaired a Rapid Review of Gross Negligence Manslaughter in Healthcare commissioned by Her Majesty’s Government which reported in June 2018
Between 2016-19 he was a Non Executive Director at St George’s NHS Foundation Trust and is at present Chair of the National Clinical Improvement Programme (NCIP) which is an integral part of the Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT) initiative, Chair of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) and a board member of the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN).
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