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RCP announces new vice president and fills other key governance roles

Professor Áine Burns has been elected as the Royal College of Physicians’ senior censor and vice president for education and training following an online vote by 2,650 of the RCP’s fellows. Several other key roles have also been filled in a round of elections and appointments.

Professor Burns is a consultant nephrologist and director of postgraduate medical education at the Royal Free Hospital in London. Having qualified in Ireland in 1983, she completed her renal training in London and has gone on to spend almost 30 years working as a clinical nephrologist and honorary senior lecturer at the University College London (UCL) Centre for Nephrology at the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust London, being promoted to UCL professor of postgraduate medical education and nephrology in 2017.

Professor Burns previously served as one of the 11 elected members of the RCP’s Council, which develops the organisation’s policy in relation to professional and clinical matters, as well as considering  and acting on current issues affecting professional practice and standards. Council has 42 members, also including the RCP’s senior officers and other representatives of those involved in the RCP's work.

There are five new elected councillors:  

Dr Helena Gleeson is a consultant in endocrinology at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, and clinical service lead for endocrinology (plus diabetes and metabolism since 2019) for University Hospitals Birmingham. She is also adult endocrinology clinical lead for the West Midlands Genomic Disease Advisory Board.

Dr Robert Anthony Wright is a consultant cardiologist at James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough. He has held several roles with MRCP(UK). He was previously a member of the RCP’s education committee and served as one of the RCP censors who, together with the senior censor, act as guardians of the values and reputation of the RCP.

Dr Angshu Bhowmik is a consultant in respiratory and general medicine, Homerton University Hospital, London, where he is lead cancer clinician. Since 2016 he has also been an honorary senior lecturer, Queen Mary University of London.

Dr Mark Temple is a consultant physician and nephrologist at University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust and Heart of England Foundation Trust. He is also clinical ambassador, Midlands, for Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) and serves on the Quality Standards Advisory Committee for the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Dr Tun Aung is a consultant physician (general medicine and geriatric medicine) at Hull Royal Infirmary. He holds several other roles with the RCP, including regional adviser for Yorkshire, MRCP PACES exam regional lead (Yorkshire) and member of the RCP London Medical Training Initiative Committee.  

All of those mentioned above will serve a 3-year term, beginning on 1 August, apart from Helena Gleeson, who will serve for 4 years. 

Appointed roles

Dr Jo Szram, previously an elected councillor, has been appointed as Linacre fellow, a 3-year role focused on the development and leadership of the RCP’s network of college tutors and associate college tutors. She will be responsible for linking their work to that of other regional roles, most notably regional advisers, the RCP’s trainee committee and new consultants committee representatives, and will advocate and champion college tutors’ work within the wider medical workforce.

Dr Szram is a consultant respiratory physician specialising in occupational lung disease at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, and deputy postgraduate dean for Health Education England South London. She has national roles with HEE as lead dean for the Flexible Portfolio Training Pilot and the Postgraduate Deans’ Leadership Leads group. She is chair of NACT UK, which represents and supports directors of medical education and other educational leaders across the four nations to promote excellence in quality of education for all healthcare learners. She sits on the Council of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Patient Safety Section.

Dr Jonathan Steel has been appointed lead fellow on social care, a 3-year role, working with the RCP to develop and support its policy and campaigns work on social care, keeping Council informed of progress and developments and representing the RCP on relevant issues.

Dr Steel recently retired after 28 years as a partner in a GP practice in Gloucestershire. In 2013 he established Clinical Panel Ltd as a network of senior clinicians supporting consulting engagements across health and social care. He is the national GP expert with specific knowledge in medicines management for NICE. From 2005–10 Dr Steel was chair of the RCP’s GP Network, advising on all aspects of policy at the interface between primary and secondary care and representing the interests of 1,200 GP members and fellows.