Cyclists Make the Cut

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30 Jul 2018

On behalf of the 500+ year-old Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, a dozen surgeons and surgeons-in-training 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 Oxford-based Consultant Liver, Pancreatic and General Surgeon and RCSEd Deputy Surgical Director of the Regional Advisory Network, Mr Mike Silva and Academic Surgical Fellow at Oxford University Hospital and Member of the RCSEd’s Trainees’ Committee Miss Katherine Hurst, 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.

Spearheading the cycling effort Mr Mike Silva said:

“Poor physical fitness can lead to costly yet avoidable complications after surgery and there is strong evidence that improving a patient’s functional capacity lends to better surgical outcomes. In October 2014, the RCSEd launched a UK-wide education campaign to get patients exercising adequately prior to their surgery.  A key aspect of the ‘Cycling Symposium’ will therefore highlight the positive aspects of physical activity like cycling.

#LetsCycleIt will also incorporate a series of surgical masterclasses each evening. The topical discussions will be delivered by surgeons who have taken part in the ride to a diverse audience that will include members of the public, medical students, junior doctors in training and practicing surgeons.”

Cycling alongside Mr Silva will be Miss Katherine Hurst, an Academic Surgical Fellow at Oxford University Hospital:

“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.”

The President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Professor Mike Lavelle-Jones said:

“I wish Mike and Katie, along with all the other cyclists, a most successful trip and I look forward to meeting up with them from time to time along the way. This is a unique event, which provides an opportunity to emphasise the importance of fitness, not only to our patients but also to the population at large. The cycle ride across the heart of England is a bold initiative and I applaud all of the team for their sterling efforts.”

The #LetsCycleIt route will be open to local cyclists, both healthcare professionals and the public. To join in any of the seven daily stages, register online below.


> Download and share the poster below in your workplace

> Download the symposia agenda

> Follow and share the journey on Twitter via #LetsCycleIt


About The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

RCSEd ( was first incorporated as the Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1505, and is the oldest surgical corporation in the world with memberships approaching 25,000 professionals in over 100 countries worldwide. The College promotes the highest standards of surgical and dental practice through its interest in education, training and examinations, its liaison with external medical bodies and representation of the modern surgical and dental workforce. It is also home to the UK’s only Faculty of Surgical Trainers, open to all those with an interest in surgical training regardless of College affiliation. Find RCSEd on Twitter and on Facebook

The College is based at Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW and can be reached on (0)131 527 1600 or In March 2014, a new base opened in Birmingham, catering to the 80% of the College’s UK membership who are based in England and Wales.

For all media enquiries please contact Ms. Tingy Simoes on 0207 052 8833 or email

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