RCPE Press Release

01 March 2010

Dr Neil Dewhurst has been elected as the next President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE).

Dr Neil Dewhurst, Consultant Cardiologist and General Physician, Perth Royal Infirmary, and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Medicine, University of Dundee, is a highly regarded consultant with over 30 years of experience gained in both District and Teaching Hospitals in Scotland and England. In parallel to his professional commitments, Dr Neil Dewhurst has been heavily involved in improving medical standards of care throughout the UK and internationally in his previous role as Medical Director of MRCP(UK). MRCP(UK) is the examining body which oversees the internationally-recognised Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP (UK)) examination which assesses doctors’ clinical competency and enables doctors to enter specialist training in order to become consultants.

Dr Dewhurst took up post on 1 March 2010 and will serve for 3 years. He takes over from Prof Sir Neil Douglas, under whose leadership the RCPE has been heavily involved in influencing public health policy in Scotland, most notably in relation to smoking and alcohol, and medical training at both a Scottish and UK level.

Dr Neil Dewhurst, President of the RCPE, said,

“The RCPE has been at the forefront of increasing medical standards of care throughout Scotland and internationally, and in developing awareness around the need for equal access to the provision of high quality medical care. As President, my priorities will be to strive to ensure that the quality of care provided to patients is not compromised as a result of the ever-increasing pressures placed on the profession and that the views of practicing doctors continue to be represented in relation to quality of care and training issues.

“Data is now emerging which has highlighted real concerns about the adverse impact of the European Working Time Regulation on both patient safety and training in Scotland since its implementation in August 2009. It is clear that many hospital rotas, while appearing to be compliant on paper are not compliant in reality, that doctors are still having to work longer hours in order to plug gaps in rotas and that there is a danger that patient safety could be compromised as a result. We have to find ways of addressing these challenges as a matter of urgency and I look forward to working with doctors, policymakers and related organisations in this area.”


Contact: Graeme McAlister on 0131-247-3693 or 07808-939395


Photographs of Dr Neil Dewhurst can be obtained by contacting Graeme McAlister at the above numbers or by e-mail – g.mcalister@rcpe.ac.uk