RCP elects new clinical vice president and council members

The RCP has elected Dr Sarah Clarke as its new clinical vice president, following a vote of over 4,000 of its fellows. The RCP has also elected five new members to its Council, and appointed three new censors.

Clinical vice president

Dr Sarah Clarke joins the RCP having previously been past president of the British Cardiovascular Society. She is currently a clinical director at Royal Papworth Hospital, and a Joint National Lead for Cardiology for the NHS’s Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT) programme. Dr Clarke will stand down from her current role as an elected RCP Council member to take on the role as clinical vice president on a three-year tenure. 

Council members

Five new members of the Council – the RCP’s highest policy-making body – have been elected following a vote of the RCP’s fellows. The successful candidates are:

  • Dr Kaushik Chaudhuri, Consultant Rheumatologist, Clinical Lead, University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire
  • Professor Rob George, Medical Director, St Christopher’s Hospice; Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Guys & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust; Professor of Palliative Care, King’s College London
  • Dr Ruth Law, Consultant Physician and Geriatrician, Whittington Health NHS Trust, London
  • Professor Tom Solomon, Professor of Neurology, University of Liverpool; Honorary Consultant Neurologist, Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, and Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool
  • Dr Jenny Vaughan, Consultant Physician and Neurologist, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Council members are elected on a three-year tenure - beginning 1 August 2019. Due to an additional vacancy created by Dr Clarke’s election to a senior role, five rather than the usual four Councillors have been elected. The fifth – Dr Kaushik Chaudhuri – is elected on a two-year tenure.

RCP censors

Dr Jyoti Baharani, Professor Rudolf Bilous and Dr Rasha Mukhtar have been appointed as RCP censors – a role established in the RCP’s founding charter of 1518 to ‘enquire about all practitioners of medicine ... to examine, correct and govern them.’

Dr Baharani is a consultant Physician at University Hospitals Brimingham. Professor Bilous is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust. Dr Mukhtar is a consultant in diabetes and endocrinology based at Frimley Park Hospital.

RCP censors are appointed on a three-year tenure.

I am delighted to welcome Dr Clarke, our new Council members and new censors to the RCP. Each brings with them a wealth of experience and expertise across the full spectrum of the NHS’s work, and I am really looking forward to working closely with them all.

Professor Andrew Goddard, RCP president

Speaking on the appointments, RCP president Professor Andrew Goddard said:

‘I am delighted to welcome Dr Clarke, our new Council members and new censors to the RCP. Each brings with them a wealth of experience and expertise across the full spectrum of the NHS’s work, and I am really looking forward to working closely with them all.

‘It’s hugely inspiring to see such a diverse and high-quality field of physicians applying for these leadership roles, and is a real strength for the RCP. It’s a really exciting time to be joining us as we continue to inspire higher standards in health and healthcare, and with our new office in Liverpool, RCP at the Spine, due to complete construction next year. These appointments are testament to the importance of the college in the minds of physicians and affirm that our messages are in tune with the views of our members.’

All elections were conducted using the single transferable vote system, administered by the Electoral Reform Services. All RCP fellows were eligible to vote. The censors were appointed after an open interview process.

The RCP has also recently appointed Professor David Croisdale-Appleby OBE as the first lay chair of its Board of Trustees, the first in its 500-year history, and Dr Jane Youde as its clinical director for its national clinical audit and accreditation programme. 

Joining the new appointments are Dr Adam de Belder and Dr Jonathan Bennett as new deputy medical directors for the RCP’s Invited Service Reviews (ISR). ISRs offer independent and external advice to healthcare organisations, providing an opportunity to deal with issues and concerns at an early stage before serious concerns arise.