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Chief Inspector of Hospitals honoured by RCSEd

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27 Apr 2014

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) has recognised the achievements of one of Britain’s most renowned oncologists, Professor Sir Michael Richards CBE, at a diploma ceremony held at the 500-year-old Edinburgh College on Friday 25 April 2014.

Professor Sir Michael Richards CBE was the National Cancer Director in the UK Government's Department of Health from 1999, before moving to the National Commissioning Board and in May 2013, he was appointed to the role of Chief Inspector of Hospitals of the Care Quality Commission. He was awarded the Honorary Fellowship from Britain’s oldest and largest Royal Surgical College, RCSEd, in recognition of the contribution he has made in his career to cancer research and improving cancer care and outcomes for patients, together with his hugely respected role as Chief Inspector of Hospitals.

In a medical career spanning over three decades, Professor Sir Michael Richards CBE has held a number of senior positions in the field of cancer, from research and honorary consultant roles, to having held the position of Clinical Director of Cancer Services at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, London (1991-1999); Chair of the National Cancer Research Institute (2006-2008); as well as holding his current position as Sainsbury Professor of Palliative Medicine at St Thomas’ Hospital London (1995 to present). In 2001, he received his CBE and in 2010 he received a Knighthood for services to medicine.

Commenting on Professor Sir Michael Richards’ nomination to receive the College Fellowship, RCSEd Honorary Secretary and Consultant Breast Surgeon Professor Graham Layer said:

“Professor Sir Michael Richards CBE is well-known to all surgeons working in the field of cancer care as for many years he was known as the Government’s first ‘Cancer Tsar’. In his role as the Government’s National Cancer Director, he oversaw the introduction of many modern cancer reforms  including networks; peer review; multi-disciplinary team meetings; and the two-week wait – processes which were designed to speed the referral of patients suspected of having cancer for specialist assessment and, by doing so, improving their outcome.

“Professor Sir Michael has also lectured widely to a large number of surgical bodies and is greatly respected within both the surgical and medical professions. On behalf of the surgical community, RCSEd is pleased to present Professor Sir Michael with an Honorary Fellowship in acknowledgment of the remarkable accomplishments he has achieved in his career and for the significant contribution he has made within the field of oncology."

Commenting on receiving his Fellowship from the College, Professor Sir Michael Richards CBE said:

“I am deeply grateful to The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for honouring me through this Fellowship, particularly as I am neither a surgeon nor do I work in Scotland. However, throughout my career I have worked closely with surgeons and I appreciate their vital role in modern health care, both for cancer and for other conditions.”


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