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New medical director for Southend University Hospital

04 January 2013

Health Care

Rugby loving consultant surgeon Mr Neil Rothnie is ready to tackle a challenging new career move as he takes over the role of medical director at Southend University Hospital.

Mr Rothnie joined the consultant staff as a general and breast surgeon in 1994, although he had first set foot there 14 years earlier as a student locum houseman when he gained an invaluable wealth of experience and knowledge.

He returned again as a surgical registrar for two years in the mid-eighties before going on to do research in Bristol and London's Royal Free Hospital and working as a senior registrar and lecturer at Bart's Hospital.

Initially, his special interest was in upper gastro-intestinal surgery, although he also performed a wide range of general surgical procedures. But his track record at Bart's specialist breast unit soon led to an invitation to develop Southend's own breast service.

Since its humble beginnings in two small clinic areas and a packed waiting room, the service has gone from strength to strength under Mr Rothnie's leadership. He was responsible for the development and design of the specialist breast unit in the hospital's Nightingale centre which incorporates South Essex Breast Screening Service, of which he is director of screening.

Mr Rothnie introduced nurse-led clinics and a family history clinic as well as a number of other services and links with breast-care charities. The unit regularly contributes to all the major national audits and its expertise is now recognised throughout Europe. Mr Rothnie was also responsible for setting up 'one-stop clinics' for women with suspected breast cancer and for reducing the length of stay so that most patients go home on the same day as they have their operation. The most recent innovation has been the introduction of digital mammography.

Mr Rothnie said: "The very best thing about the unit is the quality of the team we have developed and the care we provide to make sure patients are treated as individuals and receive the very best possible care."

He takes over the medical director's role from Dr Grahame Tosh. One of the conditions of Mr Rothnie accepting the appointment  was that he will continue to see and operate on patients.

He said: "There are so many good things about the hospital and I shall be striving to make sure that every patient's experience is an excellent one."

 

With pic:consultant breast surgeon Mr Neil Rothnie