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Nominees for Council 2021

There are TWO nominations for the post of President (AGM 2021 - AGM 2023):

Professor Christopher M Nutting


Consultant Head and Neck Oncologist, and Professor of Radiotherapy.

Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research, London.


I stand for election as President of BAHNO having been an active council member for 6 years as oncology representative. During that time, I have become very familiar with all aspects of the business of the Association and participated as a speaker, debater or moderator in almost all the annual scientific meetings.

I have been a highly specialist practitioner in head and neck cancer for 20 years as an NHS consultant and have been lucky enough to be involved in the major oncological advances in IMRT, chemotherapy and immunotherapy, both in research evaluation, and NHS implementation for UK patients during that time. I have been personally involved in reversing the decision of the Department of Health on HPV vaccination, leading to the new vaccination program for school-aged boys started last year.

The next few years will see major changes in the delivery of head and neck services in which BAHNO will need to take an active national role. Advances in robotics, protons and immunotherapy are likely to become new, but costly standard treatments and BAHNO will need to provide robust advocacy for its members and UK patients to deliver the highest quality care in the context of unprecedented financial pressures in the NHS.

BAHNO is a fantastic multidisciplinary professional association and if elected I hope to strengthen that multi-disciplinarity further as the first oncologist as President for over 10 years.

Proposed by:  Professor Hisham Mehanna and Professor Cyrus Kerawala


Professor Vinidh Paleri MS FRCS(ORL-HNS)

Consultant Head and Neck Surgeon, The Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London

Professor of Robotic and Endoscopic Head and Neck Surgery, Institute of Cancer Research, London


COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on cancer care, and the effects of this will be felt for years to come by patients. Professional groups, like BAHNO, have long recognised capacity issues within the NHS for diagnosis and therapy, and the pandemic has laid bare the cracks in the system. Dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic will be the headline challenge for the immediate future. As the sole professional body linking all multidisciplinary organisations involved in head and neck cancer care, I believe that BAHNO should be at the forefront to liaise with other stakeholders to make policy decisions, set standards and create innovative solutions to deal with the turbulent times ahead.

Having worked as a Consultant Head and Neck Surgeon for 15 years within the NHS, at two hospitals in Newcastle and London, I have a unique insight into the challenges faced by our multidisciplinary members across the UK. I have had the privilege of helping surgical colleagues set-up transoral robotic surgery at 16 NHS trusts; thus, I have first-hand knowledge of the issues faced by fellow surgeons wishing to innovate and create new service delivery models. I served as editor for the 4th and 5th UK National Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Guidelines which was endorsed by seven national bodies; hence, I believe I am well placed to lead BAHNO’s diverse professional groups and liaise with other allied organisations to effect change. I have served on BAHNO council for eight years, in addition to leading the research agenda within the organisation; therefore, I possess an in-depth understanding of the strengths of our organisation, especially its impact and reach. Over the years, I have developed strong links with patient groups across the UK.

If elected, I will build on the council’s achievements across several areas over the last few years, in line with the aims of the organisation. I will champion the interests of our patients and multidisciplinary professionals, with the additional aim of delivering improved care across the board. I am aware that clinical priorities might have changed, given recent events; hence, I will ensure that we obtain a robust snapshot of the current landscape from the membership, and set to address these new priorities during my term.

Proposed by: Professor Jarrod Homer and Mr James O'Hara


There are TWO nominations for the post of Associate Representative:

Rob Isaac

During Foundation and Core surgical training prior to becoming an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery trainee, I worked for two years in both ENT and Plastic Surgery giving me great insight into the truly multi-disciplinary approach by surgical and oncology teams in the management of head and cancer patients.

Irrespective of one’s parent specialty or allied healthcare profession, I believe we  equal members of the head and neck team and have one goal in mind:  delivering the highest standard of care for our patients. The importance of trainees in this team should never be underestimated, both for providing day to day care and ensuring the best future for head and neck cancer service provision.

Why me?   

I am an enthusiastic and committed trainee with a strong interest in head and neck. Committed to the development and teaching of both undergraduate and postgraduate colleagues, and currently writing and editing two commissioned books to help facilitate education in this field. One will be sent to all UK medical students free of charge as an eBook.

If elected as BAHNO trainee representative, I would support colleagues across specialties, be an advocate for change and improvement, stand up for what is right and promote the importance of quality training and education at every opportunity. I will also promote head and neck cancer awareness in medical schools as mentioned above to help increase recruitment.  Thank you.

Proposed by: Professor Peter Brennan and Mr Rabin Singh


Rupali Sawant


I am Rupali Sawant, ENT trainee from North West deanery. I commenced ENT Specialist training in East of Scotland rotation in August 2017.  I have specialist interest in Head and Neck surgery.  I enjoy research activities and believe in collaborative research.  I have successfully organized training courses.  I am also involved in teaching and mentoring.  

As a trainee representative I aim to get increased number of Head and Neck learning activities for trainees under supervision of the experts.  Also, if given an opportunity I would like to organize multicentre studies.

Proposed by: Professor Jarrod Homer and Ms Susannah Penney


All members eligible to vote in this election were sent a ballot paper by email on 22nd December! Please contact the secretariat if you require assistance.