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Philosophy & Ethics 2018 Meeting

2nd to 5th Jul 2018


Download Full Programme Here

This meeting will take place in rural Leicestershire at Launde Abbey, an Elizabethan manor house set in 450 acres of parkland. 

The 2 themes for 2018 will be 'Burnout' and 'Skilful Use of Language' and they may well overlap to some extent.

We are of course all aware that many professionals are reaching a point in their careers when they are totally unable to continue due to 'overload'. It has become a serious issue within the NHS as well as elsewhere with both colleagues and patients. We are passionate that this should be addressed.

Also, using language in a skilful way can be a vital part of looking after both ourselves and our patients. Being a decent human being and communicating in a caring way can enhance the healing process. It would seem to be self evident but somehow not regarded as high priority. We don't even speak to ourselves very skilfully at times and sometimes hear the voice of that harsh internal critic which can be corrosive to our own wellbeing. 

So far our speakers include Michael Bavidge the well known philosopher and author, Ian Williams GP and graphic artist, Clare Gerada Former chair of the RCGP and now medical director of the Practitioner Health Programme, Mike Platt Pain specialist and bioethicist, Betsan Corkhill wellbeing coach and founder of Stitchlinks, Cindi Bedor Head of counselling at Royal United Hospital, Bath and Jeremy Swayne retired GP, homeopathic physician and priest.

Delegates  arrive on Monday 2nd July in time for the evening meal. The talks take place on Tuesday morning followed by lunch and then you are free to spend between 2 and 4pm walking and relaxing in the gardens and parkland. We meet again then break for the evening meal at 6.30. This format is repeated on the Wednesday.

Further morning of talks on the Thursday and we head off home after lunch.


If you are not a member of The British Pain Society joining will entitle you to the discounted member rate, more information on haow to join can be found here JOIN

  BPS Member Non BPS Member
Registration Fees Before 26th April After 26th April Before 26th Aprily After 26th April
Consultants and GPs £455 £495 £655 £735
Other delegates £335 £345 £415 £435
Accompanying guests £260



Launde Abbey, an Elizabethan manor house set in its own peaceful valley in the heart of the East Leicestershire Wold, surrounded by 11 acres of garden and over 440 acres of pasture and woodland, is near the village of East Norton some 14 miles east of Leicester. It is easily accessible by car or public transport.  

More details are on the Launde Abbey website here

Speaker Profiles

Dr Michael Bavidge
Michael was a lecturer in philosophy at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, Newcastle University. Since his retirement he has continued to teach on the Philosophical Studies Programme at the university. He has written on psychopathy and the law, pain and suffering, and animal minds. He is the President of the Philosophical Society of England which brings together academic and non-academic philosophers who believe in the importance of exploring philosophical ideas and their relevance to our social and personal lives.

Dr Sara Booth
Sara is an Honorary Consultant, Associate Lecturer, University of Cambridge, The Nuffield Hospital and Nuffield Gym Cambridge. She was appointed to be the first Consultant in palliative medicine at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust to found and build a palliative care service for the hospital. She also had a longstanding interest in the breathlessness that accompanies chronic illness and set up a Breathlessness Service (BIS). Sara trained in palliative care at St Christopher’s Hospice (London) where she carried out an RCT of oxygen versus air for breathlessness in patients with Cancer. She was then appointed to Sir Michael Sobell House (Oxford) where she was the first senior registrar and then the first clinician to work in the hospital palliative care support team. She then held an NHS R&D Training Fellowship during which she validated the shuttle walking test in people with cancer. She had previously worked in anaesthetics (to fellowship level) paediatrics and psychiatry.

Betsan Corkhill
Betsan is a Wellbeing Coach specialising in helping people with long-term medical conditions, particularly pain. She has an extensive background in health and physiotherapy. Her many years of clinical experience enable her to combine coaching with her medical knowledge to help individuals improve their health and wellbeing. She is a passionate advocate for a whole-person approach to health for managing day-to-day stress and life's inevitable challenges through to managing ill health. Feeling dissatisfied with the language used in more traditional ‘Pain Management’ and treatment approaches she was successful in obtaining funding to design and run her own ‘Wellbeing for People with Pain’ programme. She has found that even subtle changes in the language used in communications with clients can have dramatic outcomes even in those with the most complex issues.

Dr Michael Farquhar
Dr Michael Farquhar trained in general paediatrics, respiratory medicine and sleep medicine at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Glasgow), Nottingham Children's Hospital, The Children's Hospital at Westmead (Sydney), Sydney Children's Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital (London). Michael has been a consultant in sleep medicine at Evelina London since 2012. He works in both the general and hypersomnia clinics, and the diagnostics sleep study service. He also works with other departments to assist colleagues in caring for children experiencing sleep difficulties due to complex medical issues. He is also involved in educating healthcare professionals on the importance of sleep, with a focus on sleep for staff working night shifts. External departments wishing to request teaching in these areas should contact Dr Farquhar's secretaries to discuss this.

Dr Clare Gerada
Dr Clare Gerada had just passed her 26th year mile stone working in the same GP practice in South London. She began working there having first trained in psychiatry and the Maudsley Hospital (where incidentally she met her husband, Simon Wessely). Clare has worked at the interface between mental health and primary care ever since with a special interest in the care of substance misusers, the homeless and currently mentally ill doctors. for the last decade she has led the largest physician health service in Europe and too date the service has had over 5000 doctors and dentists with mental illness present to it. Clare led the Royal College of General Practitioners between 2011-2013, only the second women in its history to at its head. Clare trained in group analysis, obtaining the diploma of Group Analysis in 2014. She uses her experience from this field to help understand why doctors are so unhappy Clare is proud that other than when on annual leave she is still a front line GP and even does her fair share of out of hours work.

Dr Sangram Patil
Sangram is an anaesthetist working in Pain Management Services at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, Wales. Sangram worked in NHS from 2004-09 as an SHO and Specialist registrar in anaesthetics in the Welsh Rotation. In 2009 he left UK to work for a charity in rural India. He stayed there for six years and set up a small rural based hospital which provided emergency primary and secondary care along with his wife who developed an eye clinic. He has been practising and studying vipassana mindfulness meditation technique since year 2000 in India and in UK. He became a children’s course teacher in mindfulness meditation teaching in Indian schools through the Mitra Project: a government initiative to teach anapana mindfulness in the tradition of vipassana to school children in Mahrashtra state. He has contributed articles to magazines and newspapers on social issues and also books on health, education, experience of rural working, experience of democracy and elections. He has given lectures to raise awareness about stress at work, and mindfulness meditation for stress. His special interests are mindfulness, participation in social and secular movements, history, spirituality and philosophy.

Dr Mike Platt
Mike graduated from the medical school of the University of Western Australia in 1977. After training in pain medicine and anaesthesia in Perth, Australia, and London he became Senior Lecturer in Anaesthesia at Imperial College and St. Mary’s Hospital in 1991, and is now Consultant and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia at St. Mary’s Hospital and Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, and is also Honorary Consultant in Palliative care for Kensington and Chelsea Primary Care Trust. While working in this position, he studied for and was awarded an MA in Bioethics from Surrey University in 2005, with a special interest in end of life issues, particularly in pain medicine. His special interests are nerve pain and functional disability.

Dr Ian Wlliams
Ian Williams is a comics artist, writer and GP, based in Brighton. His graphic novel, The Bad Doctor, was published in the UK by Myriad Editions, in North America by Penn State University Press and in France by Marabout. It was shortlisted for the Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize 2015, highly commended in the BMA Book Awards 2015, and was included as one of the 40 works in The Great British Graphic Novel exhibition at the Cartoon Museum in London. He is currently working on his second graphic novel, The Lady Doctor, under a contract from the same publishers. Dr Williams studied Fine Art after medical school and then became involved in the Medical Humanities movement. He named and created the area of study called Graphic Medicine, founding theGraphic Medicine website in 2007, which he currently edits with MK Czerwiec. He is co-author of The Graphic Medicine Manifesto, also from Penn State University Press, which was nominated for an Eisner Award. He has been the recipient of several grants and has contributed to numerous medical, humanities, and comics publications. Between May 2015 and January 2017 he drew a weekly comic strip, Sick Notes, for The Guardian newspaper. 

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