President – Dr Soon Lim
Dr Soon Lim carried out skin surgery and vasectomies in the community. He has been a course director for various RCGP faculties for over 10 years and continues to act as an expert witness in medicolegal cases involving primary care surgery.
Vice President – Dr Gareth James
Dr Gareth James is a 3/4 time Senior Partner and Management Lead GP in Daventry, Northamptonshire.
He has undertaken over 2500 vasectomies (over 2000 via the MIV/NSV method).
He is passionate about audit and research, and has been the Audit lead for ASPC since it joined with BANSV. He was instrumental in setting up the standardised questionnaires for patients following their vasectomies allowing a wealth of data to be collected over the past 8 years.
He has also now put together Carpel tunnel patient surveys, and a more patient centrered Skin Surgery survey.
He runs the SurveyMonkey audit tool for the ASPC.
His interests include reading, listening to music, and following Welsh Rugby fortunes.
Vice President – Dr Manu Alexander
Dr Manu Alexander is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Glasgow, works in Liverpool, as a GP principal and a primary care surgeon. He has previous experience working in general surgery and urology. He provides a community based surgical service for the population of Knowsley, Liverpool, for the last 11years .He does skin surgery and no scalpel vasectomy. He is keen to develop and provide surgical services that are safe and cost effective in primary care.
Council Member – Dr Tony Feltbower
Dr Tony Fetbower is now semi-retired from general practice having been a GP for over 30 years, but still does 2 surgeries a week. He has recently retired from his role as clinical leader on his local CCG. He has been doing vasectomies for 20 years, perhaps 5,000 so far, and is registered as principal trainer with the FSRH, although now only ‘trains’ those who require their skills updating rather than from ‘scratch’. He writes regular medico-legal reports (for solicitors, Defence Societies, GMC and Coroners) relating to GP negligence and also has an Occupational Health qualification. Full details can be seen on his website: www.DrFeltbower.com
Council Member – Dr Albert Benjamin
Albert has an abiding interest in community based local anaesthetic surgical procedures and graduated in medicine from Cambridge University where he did surgical rotational training in Edinburgh. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh and a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners. He is also an associate member of the BSSH (British Society for Surgery of the Hand)
Additionally he holds the Postgraduate Certificate of Medical Education from Keele University.
Albert has board level commissioning experience latterly within Walsall CCG. At present he is the Medical Director of Humanitas Healthcare Services Limited (a private provider of community based surgery). Currently he is expanding his portfolio of community based surgery to include vasectomy, carpal tunnel and other hand surgical procedures, and skin surgery.
Council Member – Dr Yen Lam
Yen trained at King’s College, London and qualified in 1997, during which time she gained a BSc. in Biochemistry and studied the Biology and Aging, Neuropharmacology and Neurotoxicology.
Yen embarked on surgical training and gained her Membership to the Royal College Of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 2002 and worked as a surgeon for eight years, before re-training to be a GP. She is now a part-time GP in Wallington, Surrey and works for Tollgate Clinic performing carpal tunnel decompression and vasectomies and also a training others in Carpal Tunnel Surgery. Yen has a keen interest in Aesthetics and started her own aesthetics company.
Council Member – Dr Tejal Mehta
Tejal Mehta qualified from Kings College London in 2009. After a brief period of training in core surgery, she completed her GP Vocational training in Lincoln. To further her interest in surgery, she went on to do a fellowship in Hand Surgery with the Leicester orthopaedic department. During this year she also completed a postgraduate diploma in minor surgery, from Rila Institute of Health Sciences London.
Tejal is currently working as a GP in Leicestershire and Birmingham. As well as community based minor surgery, in particular Carpal Tunnel Surgery, she also carries out aesthetic work in Botox and fillers. Tejal wanted to join the ASPC council to engage with and encourage the younger generation of GPs and VTS doctors who have a surgical interests and bring them under the ASPC umbrella.
Council Member – Dr Sree Varma
Sree Varma qualified from Southern India in 1992 and pursued a career in General surgery, then becoming a Fellow of the College of surgeons of Edinburgh in 1996. Having done, fair bit of General, Vascular and Orthopaedic surgery, he also worked for 4 years in Accident & Emergency before taking up General Practice in 2002. He is a full-time GP principal with an interest in community based Surgery and an accredited GP Trainer in a large semi-rural training practice in Kent, since 2004. He performs Vasectomies, Carpal Tunnel decompressions and skin surgery within the community. He was elected as a Fellow of the College of General Practitioners, in 2015. He enjoys teaching and it is my ambition to be involved in training both GP’s and GPSWI’s in community based surgery.
Council Member – Dr Nanda Pillai
I work in Walsall CCG as GPwSI. I did my Medical School in Kerala, India and then completed post graduate training in 1989. I worked shortly as a consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon before coming to UK in 1993. In the UK I worked in Orthopaedics as Associate specialist till 2002 and then became GP principal in 2004. I was the assistant Clinical lead for minor surgery for walsall CCG till 2015.I am the Hand Surgery lead for ASPC. I do a wide range of minor surgery under local anaesthetic, including No Scalpel Vasectomy, Adult Circumcision, Frenuloplasty , Foot procedures like tenotomy, Bunionectomy and Hand procedures including Carpal Tunnel release, Trigger finger release, Ulnar nerve release at elbow and wrist, Dequervain’s release, Dupuytren’s fasciectomy, etc. There is an extensive range of foot, hand and other procedures than can be done in primary care at a fraction of the cost when performed in the hospital. My aim is to have proper standards, accreditation and audit for these procedures in primary care and help build confidence in GPwSI and commissioners to shift these into primary care.
Council Member – Mr Ian McNab
Ian was appointed as a Consultant Hand Surgeon at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and John Radcliffe Hospital in 2000.
He is a keen supporter of training and of multidisciplinary team working. He was elected as President of British Association of Hand Therapists (BAHT) for 2017&18 and was a speaker at last year’s ASPC annual conference. He hopes to promote further close working between therapists, primary care and hand surgeons at all levels.
He will be educating us on the prevention of hand injuries on Friday and assist the hand surgery workshop on Saturday.
Skin Lead – Dr Miles Scholar
I originally trained in London and was appointed to the Middlesex Hospital Surgery rotation following an Academic post at GKT where I was an Anatomy fellow. I went on to specialise in Cardiothoracic Surgery and was the Fellow at St Georges’ Hospital from 2002-2003. I changed direction in 2003 to General Practice.
I currently work as a GP with an extended role in Plastic Surgery for Professor Barry Powell of the Royal Surrey County Hospital Plastic Surgery Department. We set a community-based plastics service up in 2007 and we have worked together ever since. I do a weekly plastics list and undertake a full range of procedures including regional flaps and grafts. I currently do around 300 procedures per year.
I also work as a GP trainer and GP just south of Guildford in Surrey.
I regularly teach and collaborate with Dr Lim on his surgical courses for the RCGP.
CLICK HERE TO EMAIL Dr Miles Scholar
Council Member – Dr Joe Devlin
I am a graduate of the Medical School at QUB (2000), and gained my MRCGP in 2004. From that point onwards I pursued a special interest in primary care surgery, and gaining enhanced skills. I trained for several years in the local DGH in the DESU.
I gained my post graduate diploma in Minor Surgery in 2008, and then my MRCS in 2010. I was involved in setting up and working in a Primary Care Surgery Service in Derry in 2012, which initially dealt with patients who were on a waiting list for the local elective surgical unit, and later accepted direct referrals from GPs from neighbouring practices.
This service is still running, and we have treated over 5000 patients in the service, with a dedicated team of GP surgeons, nurses and administrators. I am no involved in helping set-up this service provincewide.
I am also involved in the roll out of Primary Care Vasectomy service in Northern Ireland (up until recently, all vasectomies in NI have been carried out in Secondary Care).
I am a full time GP Partner, and GP Trainer.
Immediate Past President. Provost – Professor (Hon) Vijay Kumar
Prof. Vijay Kumar is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and a member of the Royal college of GP’s. He works in S.Yorkshire as a GP and Community surgical trainer. He is one of the early founding member of ASPC and was its President from 2014-2018.
He has previous experience of working as a Breast, colorectal and laparoscopic Surgeon. He Provides a community based surgical service and assists in commissioning, training and Governance process on surgical services being set up locally and elsewhere in England. He has over 29 years of Experience in the NHS and Abroad.He is passionate about Health care reform and has visited, observed and lectured on Changing healthcare Delivery in parts of Europe, America,Asia and the Middle East including recently in Washington DC. He was the lead GP on the Leadership Training for GP Consortia Development and leadership training for CCG chairs for the Yorkshire and Humber PCO’s.
He is the current Chairman of the Royal College of GP’s – Yorkshire Faculty and is the Yorkshire Faculty Representative on the college national council.He is enthusiastic about the New models of Care Delivery .He had been commissioned by the RCGP -Yorkshire Faculty to run the community level 1 and level 2 Surgery course .He is an Honorary advisor for new models of Commissioning- a move from the Soviet model to a British based one ,for the Kazakastan Association of Family Practice ( RCGP equivalent) in Central area and periodically visits and lectures in their universities He is also a Member of the American Academy of Family Practice and the NHS Leader of the year winner in 2015.
Adviser to the Council – Dr Jonathan Botting
Dr Jonathan Botting works in Barnes SW London as a GP and GP trainer. As well as community based minor surgery he is a dermatological surgeon at Chelsea & Westminster and Queen Mary’s Hospitals. He created and is Programme Director for the Diploma in Minor Surgery run by Rila.
He is commissioned by the London Deanery to teach minor surgery to GP registrars and is the RCGP Clinical Champion for minor surgery.
Past President – Dr Laurel Spooner
Dr Spooner stepped down as President of ASPC in May 2014 and has been succeeded by Dr Vijay Kumar. She qualified from Cambridge University and has been a GP partner since 1984. As it was so difficult to choose between a career in surgery or general practice she combined them. She is best known for performing around 10,000 vasectomies and training 100 or so doctors in the technique but actually she is convinced that ALL procedures which can be performed safely outside a hospital Day Case Unit should be.
Founder & Past President – Mr Raj Dhumale
Mr Raj Dhumale commenced offering surgical services from a GP setting in 1994. He was the first GP surgeon to perform and offer hernia surgery as a routine elective service in the UK from the stand alone GP setting. He was awarded the ‘Doctor of the Year’ in 1997 for his innovative surgical service in Primary care. He is a member of the American and European Hernia Societies.
Almost all of the current ASPC council members with our Administration team (from left to right) : Manu Alexander, Vijay Kumar, Nanda Pillai, Yen Lam, Julian Whitehead, Soon Lim, Tejal Mehta, Gareth James and Ross Turner.