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WVT surgeon lands top national accolade

Press release –  April 1 2019


A surgeon at Hereford County Hospital has made history for the Trust after receiving a top national accolade for his work.

Mr Edmund Leung, a 43-year-old general surgeon, has been presented with the prestigious Swann Morton Silver Scalpel award at the 2019 Association of Surgeons in Training international conference held recently in Belfast.

Uniquely, it is the first time in the 19 year history of the national award that it has gone to a surgeon not affiliated to a university or teaching Trust.

“Hundreds of surgeons are nominated and I was in the last five,” said Edmund.

“But I really didn’t think I’d win as the others were from big teaching hospitals – where the winners have come from in the past. I was drinking my coffee when they read out my name.

“I hadn’t prepared for a winning speech and hadn’t even shaved as I never thought I’d win,” said a surprised Edmund after the glittering ceremony.

“I was asked by a lot of people which teaching hospital I had come from and had to explain to many of them where Hereford is. It’s unbelievable and a great honour to represent the Trust and receive this award.”

His win has put Hereford County Hospital in the international spotlight and shows that surgeons in small rural hospitals can deliver excellent surgical training and patient care - just like the big teaching hospitals.

Annually, the Silver Scalpel Award plays a vital part in recognising trainers that go the extra mile for their trainees, while at the same time promoting the highest standards of surgical training.

The shortlisting took place based on interviews with staff of all levels conducted within the hospital by representatives of Royal College of Surgeons of England, London.

The winner was decided by a panel of five judges (four presidents from each of the Royal College of Surgeons and the fifth being the Medical Director for the NHS) based on reports generated by the representatives.

Christina Fleming, vice president of the Association of Surgeons in Training, described Edmund as “passionate, approachable and resourceful” when she handed him the award.

“He gets things done and increases the confidence of his students – he’s encouraging and pushes them to achieve. He’s an excellent surgeon who cares for future generations and is willing to impart knowledge to them.”

Most weekends and evenings Edmund can be found training student doctors, trainee surgeons locally, nationally and in Europe - over and above his clinical work at the Trust.

“I’ve been working at the County Hospital for around five years and I came here especially for the quality of life. People think of Herefordshire as being a bit of a backwater, but this award demonstrates we can compete with the best.

“It’s such an honour to win the award – there were hundreds of nominations to start with. This has really put the county on the global stage and sends out the message that although we’re a small district general hospital, we can be innovative and we offer excellent training.”


Pic caption:

WVT Edmund Leung receives the silver scalpel award from Christina Fleming, vice president of the Association of Surgeons in Training.

Note to editors

Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond.

The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.

By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.

With an estimated annual turnover of around £180 million, we employ around 2,700 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.

For further information please contact:

Wye valley NHS Trust communications team 01432 372928 or 01432 355444 x5105.

Contact Details

John Burnett
Communication and engagement manager
Tel: 01432 372928

Amanda Millichip
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 355444 Ext: 5105

Fiona Gurney
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 355444 Ext: 5105


Postal address:

Wye Valley NHS Trust
The County Hospital
Trust Headquarters
Union Walk

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