Varied programme attracts high turnout for SAS Conference


A large number of delegates attended the 16th SAS Doctors’ and Dentists’ conference at the Copthorne Hotel in Cardiff on 30th January, where they enjoyed a varied programme of presentations and workshops throughout the day.

The event began with a welcome and introduction from Professor Peter Donnelly and Dr Ian Collings, Wales Deanery’s Interim Dean and Deputy Dean. As part of his talk, Professor Donnelly gave an update on the Deanery’s forthcoming transfer to Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) in October 2018.

Although unable to attend in person, the audience was able to watch a video message from Vaughan Gething, Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services. Mr Gething talked about the development and future progression of SAS Doctors and Dentists, emphasising the need for ongoing strategic support for clinical leadership and the flexible and holistic approach that will be offered by HEIW.

Dr Veerabadran Ramkumar, Associate Specialist at Cwm Taf University Health Board, gave an entertaining presentation on the subject ‘When something goes wrong’ (see photo above), a helpful insight into the fitness to practise processes implemented by the NHS. Dr Ramkumar talked about the help and professional support provided by BMA membership and the importance of reflection, learning and being prepared to change practice.

Dr Mark Stacey delivered an informative and practical presentation on resilience, based on the ‘Baker’s Dozen of Mental Toughness’ guide he co-wrote with Elaine Russ and Andy McCann. The talk focused on the importance of changing perspective, dealing with conflict and doing physical exercise every day, and following the mantra ‘Control what you can; cope with what you can’t; concentrate on what counts’.

After lunch, delegates attended a presentation on pensions by Greg Tait of Chase de Vere Independent Financial Advisors, followed by workshops on ‘Handling Patient Complaints’ by Donald Imrie of the MDU and ‘Human Factors training on improving doctors’ performance’ by Trevor Dale of Atrainability. The event closed with a question and answer session facilitated by Raj Nirula, Associate Dean for SAS Doctors.

One delegate said, “Thanks to all the speakers for 'eye-opening' presentations and a special thank you to Dr Mark Stacey for a super duper 'Resilience' talk. Inspirational ideas and interactive session".

Carolyn Evans, conference organiser, added, “I thoroughly enjoy organising these conferences, especially when they are always so well attended by the SAS doctors and dentists. The many varied presentations are stimulating, the delegates appreciate the networking opportunity and, therefore, the feedback is so positive. All in all, a very rewarding experience for everyone!"

16th SAS Doctors' and Dentists' Conference

In the run up to the SAS Doctors and Dentists Conference on 30th January, you can find information about some of the guest speakers below:

Dr Ian R G Collings, Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Ian Collings is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Head of Specialty School for Psychiatry in the Wales Deanery. He works as a consultant for the Swansea Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team with inpatient responsibilities at Cefn Coed Hospital. Ian qualified from Imperial College School of Medicine in 2000, completed all of his training in the South Wales area and became a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2005. He has worked as a Consultant Psychiatrist since 2012 and has previously been the Core Training Programme Director for Swansea Training Scheme and the Wales Deanery Performance Lead for Psychiatry. His clinical interests include the treatment of treatment resistant schizophrenia and treatment resistant depression.

Dr Chris Jones FRCP: Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Wales

Dr Chris Jones is Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) for Wales, having joined the Welsh Government as Medical Director, NHS Wales in June 2010. Previously he was Medical Director of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. He is a physician and cardiologist on the GMC specialist register for General Medicine and Cardiology and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London.

Chris qualified in medicine in London in 1981 and undertook clinical and research training in London, Cardiff and the USA. He was appointed as the first Consultant Cardiologist in Bridgend in 1994 and went on to lead the development of a high performing clinical cardiology service over the next 15 years. During this time he also spent 4 years as a Senior Lecturer in Cardiology at Cardiff University and has published over 80 original peer review papers.

Chris's career in medical management started in 2003 when he became an Associate Board Member of the Bridgend Local Health Board and also Deputy Medical Director of Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust. He subsequently worked there as Clinical Director of Medicine and then Associate Medical Director of ABM University Trust before moving to Cardiff.

As DCMO, Chris supports work to improve the health and well-being of the population and the development of health care services that provide high value to patients in terms of outcome and experience. Wales is following a path to integrated services for populations with increased emphasis on public health and community care.

Dr Mark Stacey  FRCA, MSc Med Ed,  Associate Dean (New Initiatives), Wales Deanery

Dr Mark Stacey is a Consultant Obstetric Anaesthetist and Associate Dean in Cardiff. He has extensive clinical experience on the practical management of the ‘difficult airway’.

Mark has been delivering and evaluating a ‘books on a phone project’ (the Welsh iDoc project in collaboration with colleagues in CUREMeDE), which through case reports from trainees now demonstrates improved medical care.

Mark's Masters dissertation looked at ‘skills training and performance under pressure’, attempting to devise better methods of training to manage situations such as the ‘can’t intubate, can’t ventilate’ scenario. To improve such training he explored much of the research on the performance of elite athletes and human factors. Mark is currently collaborating with experts in sports psychology and business, developing a system encompassing information delivery, practical skills training and cognitive workload management under pressure to improve both the training and performance of skills.

Mr Donald Imrie BSc CEng FIMechE, Hospital Liaison Manager for the Medical Defence Union

Donald liaises between doctor and consultant members of the Medical Defence Union (MDU).

Donald visits hospitals on a daily basis to meet MDU members, deal with MDU queries and provide various development and training seminars, which can be counted towards CPD.

Prior to this Donald gained many years' senior management and field based experience in a wide variety of industries including Training and Development Manager for a large national company, Single Technical Authority for Rolls Royce Aero division, pharmaceutical sales, aero engine design and development, and automotive design and development.

Mr Trevor Dale, FRAeS, MRCPS (Glas), Atrainability

Trevor Dale specialises in Human Factors and has experience of training since 1990 when he was part of the team that introduced IT to British Airways. He retired as a Training Captain flying Boeing 747s in 2005 and had focused on training trainers and crew in simulation, class and aircraft. He began working in human factors in healthcare in 2002 with paediatric cardiac surgery, and continues to do so across the entire spectrum from surgery, ITU, anaesthesia to mental health. Developing clinical simulation for human factors training is a particular focus. Trevor is involved with expanding understanding of how examiners are affected by fatigue and repetition during physician examinations. He is also currently working with a team to bring human factors to the work of child protection workers. His passion is to help professionals develop and maintain their full range of skills, both technical and non-technical. He is a long-serving member of Lions Clubs International.

Mr Greg Tait, Chase De Vere Independent Financial Advisers

Greg Tait started at Chase de Vere in 2011 and has been providing specialist financial planning to doctors ever since. Originally working from the London city office, he has since moved back to South Wales. Greg says he is an alternative financial planner because he isn’t interested in selling clients a financial product. The most important thing he feels he can do for his clients is understand their future, lifestyle goals and aspirations and then work with them to make sure that there is a suitable plan in place for them to become achievable.


The conference will begin at 9am with registration and coffee, followed by a series of presentations and workshops throughout the day. The event's organiser, Carolyn Evans, said, "We are excited to once again invite SAS doctors and dentists from across Wales to attend the 16th bi-annual conference in Cardiff. It promises to be an interesting day with a wide range of activities and networking opportunities".

The full programme can be viewed here and registration for the event is via Eventbrite.

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