Prof Derek Bell, Chair in Acute Medicine, Imperial College, London, has been elected as the next President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE). Dr Alan Patrick has also been elected as Vice President (Education & Standards).

The results of the elections were announced at the RCPE Annual Meeting on 29 November 2013. Prof Bell will take up post on 1 March 2014 (for 3 years), after the current RCPE President, Dr Neil Dewhurst, demits office. Dr Patrick will take up post with immediate effect (also for 3 years).

Professor Derek Bell and Dr Alan PatrickProf Derek Bell

Prof Derek Bell is currently Chair in Acute Medicine, Imperial College, London, and has been an Elected Member of RCPE Council since 2007. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Prof Bell has extensive experience of working at a senior level in the NHS in Scotland and England. Appointments include - Consultant Chest Physician, Central Middlesex Hospital, London (1990-96), Consultant Physician, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (1996-2006), Honorary Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh (1998-2006), Medical Director, Acute Hospitals Division, NHS Lothian (2005-06), National Clinical Lead for Unscheduled Care, NHS Scotland (2007-10), President, Society of Acute Medicine (2003-07), Acute Care Lead, NHS London (2011-13) and Chair in Acute Medicine, Imperial College, London (2006 to date).

Dr Alan Patrick

Dr Alan Patrick is currently a Consultant Physician in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Acute Medicine, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Dr Patrick previously worked as a Consultant Physician, Eastern General Hospital, Edinburgh, and is an Honorary Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh. He also has extensive experience of undergraduate and postgraduate training and assessment through multiple roles, including Training Programme Director, Secretary of Specialist Advisory Committee, Medical Secretary of the MRCP(UK) Clinical Examining Board and recent Registrar of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

Dr Neil Dewhurst, President, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said,

“In recent years the RCPE has become one of the most active and influential medical organisations in Scotland. During this time we have highlighted problems affecting the delivery of acute medical services and patient care, advocated appropriate evidence-based solutions and built national medical consensus to inform health policy. In parallel, we have increased our activity at a UK level, where we are experiencing strong growth, and now have more Fellows and Members in England than in Scotland. It has been my privilege to have led the College during this exciting period”.

“At a time when health services throughout the UK are increasingly diverging, but there is also a need to share and replicate good practice for the benefit of patients, Prof Bell brings extensive experience of working at a senior level in the NHS in both Scotland and England. This will be invaluable in continuing to inform health policy throughout Scotland and the UK. I wish him well in his appointment. I would also like to congratulate Dr Alan Patrick, another highly experienced clinician, on his election as Vice President.”

Prof Derek Bell, President-elect of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said,

“The medical profession faces increasing pressure to deliver high quality, safe and effective care for patients in the current climate of change. As we move forward it will be essential for the College to provide advice, opinion and leadership that is valued and trusted by doctors and patients alike, and which is enacted by policymakers. Having gained extensive clinical, strategic, managerial and academic experience in Scotland and England, I look forward to building on the College’s increasing position of influence and working with others to improve standards of care throughout the UK. I also intend to remain grounded through my continuing role as a practising clinician in acute care.”

Dr Alan Patrick, Vice President, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said,

“The College has a crucial role to play in maintaining and improving standards of patient care by ensuring that the education, training and assessment of doctors are of the very highest quality. This involves overseeing doctors’ continuing professional development throughout their career;  enabling them to remain up to date with the latest medical developments, ensuring that the related assessment processes are independent, transparent, fair and robust; and also that these important activities are adequately resourced.  I look forward to bringing my experience in education and assessment to this role over the next three years.”

Contact: Graeme McAlister on 0131-247-3693 or 07733-263453


Notes to Editors

Photographs of Prof Bell and Dr Patrick are available on request from Graeme McAlister.