A specialist team who have helped improve the quality of life for hundreds of Forth Valley women suffering incontinence after childbirth has been awarded the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh’s William Cullen Prize.

The multi-disciplinary team, which includes gynaecologists, urologists, gastroenterologists, physiotherapists and the continence advisory service, is led by NHS Forth Valley Consultant Colorectal surgeon, Mr John Camilleri- Brennan. They were awarded a copy of one of Dr Cullen’s letters by NHS Forth Valley Medical Director Andrew Murray; and Dr Dan Beckett, College Assistant Director of Standards, and NHS Forth Valley Consultant Acute Physician.

During his time in Forth Valley Mr Camilleri-Brennan has pioneered and established endoanal ultrasound to diagnose and help in the treatment of anal sphincter defects. The team has also developed a protocol for the management of tears and pelvic floor disorders.

A College Spokesperson said:

“The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has members and Fellows all over the world, but this prize particularly recognises excellence in service innovation at a local level.

“Mr Camilleri-Brennan and the whole multidisciplinary team deserve the award for improving the quality of life of patients with continence issues across Forth Valley, with the provision of expert surgical and nursing diagnosis and treatment. Previously patients had to travel to Edinburgh or Glasgow for treatment but now the majority of 400 patients seen annually can be treated locally”.

On receiving the William Cullen Prize, Mr Camilleri-Brennan said:

 “This award recognises our work to try to improve the quality of life for many women with these types of disorders which, unfortunately, are often still a taboo subject. People are very reluctant to speak about it and often present late. However, there is no need to be embarrassed and I would encourage people to approach their practice nurse or GP as soon as possible as incontinence is best treated at an early stage.

“We may not be able to find a perfect cure but can tailor treatment to help people manage their condition and enable them to have a better quality of life.”



Contact: Sara Collier s.collier@rcpe.ac.uk 0131 247 3658

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (“the College”) is an independent standard-setting body and professional membership organisation. The College’s aim is to improve and maintain the quality of patient care. The College helps qualified doctors to pursue their careers in specialist (internal) medicine through medical examinations, education and training. It also provides resources and information to support and facilitate professional development for physicians throughout their careers.
  2. The William Cullen Prize was created in 2016 to recognise excellence in teaching or service innovation at a regional level.
  3. William Cullen (1710-1790) was the most influential medical lecturer of his generation, and drew thousands of students to the Edinburgh Medical School. As the pre-eminent Scottish medical figure of his day, Cullen’s opinion was in high demand and people wrote to him from around the world requesting his advice on treatments. An archive of his private consultation letters can be found at http://cullenproject.ac.uk/
  4. Mr John Camilleri-Brennan is NHS Forth Valley’s lead clinician for colorectal cancer and holds an honorary senior clinical lecturer post with the University of Glasgow. A graduate of the University of Malta, he received his postgraduate surgical training primarily in Dundee and Aberdeen.A travelling scholarship enabled him to pursue further studies in colorectal surgery at the University of Minnesota. He has published articles and presented papers at national and international meetings and is on the board of examiners for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.
  5. Mr John Camilleri-Brennan and members of his team are pictured receiving the William Cullen Prize from NHS Forth Valley Medical Director Andrew Murray (far left) and Dr Dan Beckett, College Assistant Director of Standards, and NHS Forth Valley Consultant Acute Physician.