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Welcome to our elected Council members 2024

11 Apr 2024

We are pleased to announce that the membership has elected eight members to our College Council. We are delighted to welcome Associate Professor Deborah Eastwood, Tim Lane, Clara Vella, Francisca Ferreira and Professor Lynda Wyld who will be formally admitted to the Council in the summer. Professor Frank Smith, Rachel Hargest and Professor Ian Loftus, have also been re-elected. 

Thank you to our demitting Council members, Vice-President Professor Fiona Myint, Stella Vig, Ahmed Ahmed, Professor Peter Brennan and Lasantha Wijesinghe, for their contributions and dedication throughout their terms.

Read the elected Council members' statements below, and find out more about our existing Council members.


Headshot of Fran Smith wearing light blue scrubs smiling at the camera
Professor Frank Smith
Specialty: Vascular surgery
Professor Frank Smith

I am dedicated to improving RCS England support for trainees, SAS doctors and consultants who feel that the College has little relevance in their working lives. More activities should be delivered regionally. In chairing the Examinations Committee, I’m working to ensure that trainees are helped equitably to prepare for examinations, and more support is provided for Examiners and Assessors, who contribute so much time and effort. I support improving working conditions for members and fellows though the Workforce and Training Committee and as Chair of the Invited Review Mechanism, I undertake more than 30 reviews per year, helping to resolve professional issues in trusts.

Deborah Eastwood headshot against a white background
Associate Professor Deborah Eastwood
Specialty: Paediatric orthopaedic surgery
Associate Professor Deborah Eastwood

As I end my career and using leadership skills developed as past President of both the British Orthopaedic Association and European Paediatric Orthopaedic Society, I wish to give back to the generality of surgery and support the college that has always supported me. We face challenging changes, some of which must be challenged if we are to guide the growth of our profession to support our colleagues and care for our patients.

My priorities are:

  1. To recruit, sustain and retain our dedicated workforce
  2. To place sustainability at the heart of what we do
  3. To promote diversity in all its diverse formats
black and white headshot of Tim Lane wearing a suit against a white background
Tim Lane
Specialty: Urology
Tim Lane

Whilst Editor of the Annals I described the RCS England as a ‘phylogenetic remnant of a bygone era’. Little has changed. For many of us, our only College engagement is paying the annual subscription fee which allows us to use our post-nominals. We deserve so much more for funding the College. It is time the RCS England focuses more on the grass-roots concerns of its membership than the portraits of past Presidents. I stand for:

  1. Prioritising issues affecting front-line surgeons Cons/SAS/ Trainee
  2. All Members/Fellows should be eligible to stand in Presidential elections
  3. Use of FRCS/MRCS post-nominals should not require a College subscription
headshot of Rachel Hargest against a white background
Rachel Hargest
Specialty: General surgery
Rachel Hargest

Despite significant challenges, surgery is a rewarding and fascinating career and surgeons are united in the College’s vision – “We want to see excellent surgical care for everyone”.

During my first term, I have concentrated on excellence in surgical training and practice. I chair the Learning Committee, am the Co-director of the Global Surgery Policy Unit and also served as Trustee. With a busy clinical practice, I understand the pressures on surgeons and can bring realistic experience to Council decision-making on the contentious issues facing the profession. Training future surgeons is my priority. I am honoured to be re-elected to Council.

headshot of Clara Vella smiling at the camera
Clara Vella
Specialty: Orthopaedic trauma
Clara Vella

I take pride in standing as a DoctorsVote candidate for council election. As a Trauma and Orthopaedic ST7 who has taken time out of programme to live in low/middle-income countries, I offer a distinctive perspective on training. My commitment to fostering an inclusive and impactful training environment drives my aspiration to serve on this Council. I aim to champion the following issues:

  1. Increasing theatre accessibility amidst efficiency challenges
  2. Modernising assessment and training methodologies
  3. Prioritising the concerns of surgeons regarding medical associate professions

I am dedicated to ensuring a safe working environment that protects patient care and the training of our future consultant surgeons.

Headshot of Francisca Ferreira smiling to the camera with her hair swept to one side
Francisca Ferreira
Specialty: Neurosurgery
Francisca Ferreira

There is scope to modernise current surgical training to better utilise the diversity and pluripotency of our workforce, which truly constitute a strength in better serving our patients. I am a female academic run-through Neurosurgery trainee - having recently completed my PhD and being a part of the RCS England Emerging Leaders programme, I recognise the systemic roadblocks in the career. I aim to identify and tackle the barriers that prevent recruitment into surgical training, promote access to more equitable training and research opportunities for female and minority surgeons and focus on addressing the factors contributing to attrition in all trainees.

headshot of Ian Loftus wearing a grey suit against a white background
Professor Ian Loftus
Specialty: Vascular surgery
Professor Ian Loftus

I am standing for a second term on Council. My first term has been inspiring and rewarding. I want to continue contributing to the momentum of change. I am honoured to have been appointed Chair of the Research Committee. The commitment of the College to research activities is second to none, from 30 years of a tremendously successful Fellowship programme, to the Surgical Trials Initiative and National Clinical Audits. I aim to build on those successes. I will broaden the appeal of research to members, increase access to College support, and represent the interests of academic surgery on Council.

Headshot of Lynda Wyld against a white background
Professor Lynda Wyld
Specialty: General surgery (breast)
Professor Lynda Wyld

I have extensive experience in leadership/surgical representation (past-President of British Association of Surgical Oncology, past-Chair of Education and Training Committee of European Society of Surgical Oncology, President-Elect of the European Breast Exam board and Trustee of the Association of Breast Surgery) and am well qualified to represent on College Council and promote European links via extensive National and International connections. I have a strong track record of supporting trainees, with National and International lecturing, mentorship, examining, standard setting and guideline development. I am also a clinical academic with wide-ranging research interests and deliver high-throughput patient-centred service at a large District General Hospital.

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