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Peer to explore how medicine and politics interact

Published: 11 March 2022 at 13:00

Lord Ribeiro, Chancellor of ARU

ARU Chancellor Lord Ribeiro will discuss how current affairs affect medical workforce

Retired surgeon and life peer Lord Ribeiro, Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), will deliver a public lecture later this month on his experiences in medicine and politics.

In the first of the Anglia Ruskin School of Medicine annual lectures, Lord Bernard Ribeiro of Achimota and Ovington will speak at ARU’s Chelmsford campus on 31 March.  The free event will explore medicine and politics, and how the experience in one can help shape the policies of the other, helping to shape the healthcare workforce. 

Lord Ribeiro will talk about his background in West Africa and describe his training and practice as a surgeon in the NHS, leading to his transition to politics in the House of Lords. He will discuss issues relating to the medical workforce and how higher education can encourage diversity in the future workforce of the NHS and thereby better reflect the patients they serve.

Bernard Ribeiro qualified as a doctor in 1967. In 1979 he became a consultant in general surgery to Basildon Hospital, where he developed the use of laparoscopic, or keyhole, surgery. He held this role for 29 years until his retirement in 2008. 

In 2004, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for service to medicine, and in 2005 was elected as President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, serving until 2008. He was knighted in 2009 and made a life peer in 2010. He has since held several public sector positions including Chairman of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, advising the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Lord Ribeiro was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England’s Diversity Review Panel and in 2021 served on the Board of the Equality and Human Rights Commission to provide medical and public health expertise. He became Chancellor of ARU in 2021.

He is closely engaged in the discussions by the House of Lords on the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill currently passing through Parliament, and on which he has submitted an amendment that is currently before the House.

Dr Russell Cowan, Senior Clinical Fellow at ARU School of Medicine, said:

“Lord Ribeiro was a highly influential surgeon in the county of Essex, with a medical career spanning over 40 years. He has spent 12 years in the House of Lords, has held several public sector roles and can give a unique perspective on how our political systems shape healthcare.”

Rachel Moss, Public Engagement Officer at ARU, said:

“Lord Ribeiro’s lecture promises to bring experience and insight to an issue that affects every one of us and we look forward to seeing members of our wider Essex community on our Chelmsford campus for this event.”

The lecture will take place on Thursday, 31 March at 6.30pm at ARU’s Chelmsford campus. Places are free, but must be booked. To book, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/healthcare-and-politics-some-interface-issues-lord-bernard-ribeiro-tickets-269618124067