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Welcome to our elected Council members

14 Apr 2022

Congratulations to the five surgeons who were elected in our 2022 Council elections. We are delighted to welcome three new fellows to the team: Laura Hamilton, Nicola Fearnhead and Omer Karim. We also welcome back Farah Bhatti and Peter Friend for their second terms. All five will be formally admitted to Council in the summer.

You can read their election statements below and find out more about our current Council members


Farah Bhatti
Farah Bhatti – Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Farah Bhatti – Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Accepting current healthcare challenges, at the College we can help.

Early years:

  • Tackle disparity of access to quality training with enthusiastic trainers
  • Work with hospitals to provide appropriate office accommodation, nutritious food 24/7 & suitable rest facilities.
  • Proactively promote the pleasures of careers in surgery to students & trainees.

Middle years:

  • Eliminate the normalisation of bureaucratic mediocrity.
  • Counter the toxic culture of guilty until proven innocent for doctors in difficulty

Later years:

  • Ensure hospitals value the talents of the surgical workforce to underpin career development


  • Embed equality, diversity & inclusivity in surgical culture.

Remember: nobody wins unless everybody wins.

Peter Friend
Peter Friend – Consultant Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgeon
Peter Friend – Consultant Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgeon

Everyone recognises that Royal Colleges must modernise: at its best, modernisation embraces the future without shunning the past. We have shown that we can do this architecturally; the challenge now is to embody the equivalent flagship vision for the membership we serve. We exist for all surgeons: diversity, equity and inclusion must therefore be at the heart of the College’s culture.

Investment in the next generation is key. As Research Committee Chair, I am committed to expanding our highly successful research-fellowship scheme which allows young surgeons to acquire skills in surgical science and innovation.

The College must continue to uphold the highest standards of surgical practice and professionalism, work to prevent the commodification of surgical services, and guard the interests of surgeons within the NHS and in the political sphere. With four years of experience on Council and as a Trustee, I look forward to continuing to promote these aims.


Laura Hamilton
Laura Hamilton – Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon
Laura Hamilton – Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon

My reason for wishing to serve on Council is to offer experience gained from senior leadership positions in the NHS and in UK and European Universities. In particular to promote and support the overall role of the college and to enable improvements in research and teaching in all surgical fields. My three main priorities are firstly to increase participation of surgical patients in high quality observational studies and multi-centre randomised trials to enable evidence based decisions, secondly to encourage and support career long improvements in wellbeing and work life balance and thirdly to promote equality and diversity among surgeons.

Nicola Fearnhead
Nicola Fearnhead – Consultant Colorectal Surgeon
Nicola Fearnhead – Consultant Colorectal Surgeon

Bringing my experience in Training, Workforce Planning and Diversity & Inclusion, my 3 priorities are:

  • Training backlogs and extensions
  • Workforce crisis
  • Tackling BUH and lack of inclusivity with the need to change culture in Surgery

Ultimately I hope this will improve the care and outcomes of our patients and also the working lives of all surgeons.

About me:

  • Consultant Vascular Surgeon
  • Head of School of Surgery, KSS
  • Chair, Vascular Surgery SAC
  • Clinical Advisor, HEE Workforce Alignment
  • Chair, RCSE Pride in Surgery Forum (PRiSM) for LGBTQ+ surgeons and allies
  • Participant in Regional and National projects for neurodiversity for trainees and patients

Omer Karim
Omer Karim – Locum Consultant Urological Surgeon
Omer Karim – Locum Consultant Urological Surgeon

20 years’ experience as a Consultant Surgeon, Medical Director for Surgery merging three Trusts, MBBS and MRCS Examiner and Court Chair, RCS Human Factors Tutor, WIST Council member and ASiT President, Deanery and professional standards setting (ICBSE/ IQA) roles equip me to:

  • support the College in its strategic aims whilst our Profession faces unprecedented challenges; surgical backlog, workforce and financial pressures
  • be passionate about promoting surgical careers, teaching and training to sustain excellent patient care, research and innovation
  • to develop multidisciplinary team working

From my experience and insight I also understand the commitment of sitting on Council.

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