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A dozen surgeons and surgeons-in-training, including NDS DPhil student Miss Katherine Hurst, will soon take to the road for the first ever Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) Travelling Surgical Symposium.

Giles bond smith katherine hurst and mike silva
Giles Bond-Smith, Katherine Hurst and Michael Silva

On behalf of the UK's oldest surgical college, the team of experienced consultants and talented trainees will be setting off on 1 September on a gruelling seven-day bicycle trek from Southampton to Edinburgh – in a bid to spread the word on the latest news and advances in the field of surgery.

On the #LetsCycleIt mission, the team of experienced consultants and talented trainees will stop each evening to conduct a series of masterclasses on key surgical topics. These include highlighting the importance of patients’ cardiovascular fitness prior to surgery, an update on the College’s groundbreaking anti-bullying campaign #LetsRemoveIt, as well as other subjects surrounding safety in the operating theatre, reducing the risk of infections, ‘never events’ and topics of special interest in vascular surgery and trauma surgery.

The team, led by Miss Hurst, whose other roles include Academic Surgical Fellow at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Member of the RCSEd’s Trainees’ Committee, and Mr Michael Silva, an Oxford-based Consultant Liver, Pancreatic and General Surgeon and RCSEd Deputy Surgical Director of the Regional Advisory Network, will set off from Southampton, pedalling through Oxford, Birmingham, Sheffield, Middleborough, Newcastle and Carlisle to arrive in Edinburgh after a journey of almost 550 miles. Keen cyclists are invited to take part too, by joining the surgeons and cycling part of the route with them.

Miss Hurst said: “Over 80% of the College's UK membership are based in England and Wales, so we’re taking to the roads to highlight the presence of RCSEd throughout Britain, and the work undertaken to improve patient outcomes and ensure surgery is a profession that remains thriving and inclusive.

"The College has been championing programmes such as the hugely successful national anti-bullying campaign #LetsRemoveIt, and showcasing roles for women in surgery. Studies estimated that bullying within the NHS costs UK organisations nearly £14billion per year, and healthcare professionals have attributed disruptive behaviour alone to 67% of adverse patient events, 71% of medical errors, and 27% of perioperative deaths. Bullying and harassment in the workplace is no longer acceptable and our travelling symposium will inform and equip surgeons to tackle this detrimental behaviour.

“Women form an ever increasing proportion of the UK’s surgical workforce and the College has an increasing number of female trainees, surgeons and Council members.  A number of female surgeons will be participating as riders and will showcase opportunities for women choosing a career in surgery.”

Read the full press release on the RCSEd website.

Meet the cyclist

Join the team on route

The #LetsCycleIt route will be open to local cyclists, both healthcare professionals and the public. To join in any of the seven daily stages, email outreach@rcsed.ac.uk.