Sas Banerjee - New Royal College of Surgeons appointment

We were so pleased to hear last week, that Sas Banerjee our Endoscopy and Joint Gastroenterology Lead, has been appointed as a Regional Director for the Royal College of Surgeons, that we asked him to write a short piece about his career so far and his plans for the role. He kindly agreed! Here is his story:

“Since my appointment as a consultant in 2011, I helped General Surgery at Queen’s Hospital as the Educational Lead and as a department we made significant improvements to our approach to education and training.

In 2016, I became the Surgical Tutor with the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) of England and very soon after we faced an immense challenge with less than adequate feedback from our surgical Foundation Trainees (FT) in the GMC trainee survey and Health Education England (HEE) made a decision to withdraw these trainees in December 2016. This required a further return to the drawing board for the department and we worked together to create the Transformation Plan which revolutionised education and training in surgery and has since been adopted by HEE as the best practice model for training for FTs’.

This model brought in surgical ANPs, doctor’s assistants, dedicated teaching schedules and experience in theatres and clinics. The Transformation Plan not only helped the FTs but also other trainees and helped the evolution of the Academy of Surgery which is led by Mr V Shatkar. On many occasions when speaking to fellow educators, I have shared our experience as a department which was well received and helped them too.

When the expression of interest for the Regional Director for North London was published, I missed it and was alerted to it by my surgical colleague Mr Richard Boulton for which I am grateful and also demonstrates the very collegiate nature of successful departments.

I presented our experience as a department during my interview and highlighted the Academy of Surgery which is becoming the model for our Trust as we develop a BHR Academy.

The role of the Regional Director (RD) is to lead the College’s local engagement with RCS members, fellows, other surgeons, key stakeholder groups in the regions.

The purpose of RDs is to help implement professional standards and facilitate local support for members and fellows and that is a massive responsibility which I have to live up to.

The RD also acts as the conduit for two-way information flow with the central RCS. The RD also provides support for the local network of Regional Specialty Professional Advisors (RSPAs), Surgical Tutors and engages with the Heads of Schools of Surgery.

Another exciting aspect is that at a strategic level where relevant with any local processes relating to surgical training and reshaping of surgical services, that is fed back to the RCS and we have the possibility of RCS level adoption of the Academy of Surgery principles.

The role also helps engagement with local 6th Forms, Foundation Schools, Medical Schools and Trusts within NE London to promote surgery as an amazing career.

I have not had any celebrations just yet and will wait for my induction as the RD. The best way to celebrate would be a meal after we have recovered from Covid with my colleagues who have been always supportive. I did get a hug from my 13 year old daughter though to congratulate me which is a rarity from a teenager!”

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