Dr Fiona Donald takes up office as President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists

Published: 15/09/2021

The Royal College of Anaesthetists is delighted to announce that today, Dr Fiona Donald , a consultant anaesthetist at the North Bristol NHS Trust, takes up office as the next President of the College. Fiona succeeds Professor Ravi Mahajan, who has been in post since 2018.

Fiona has been Vice President of the College since September 2019. She qualified from the University of Bristol in 1985 and trained in anaesthetics in Bristol, the southwest, Oxford and Geneva. She was appointed as a Consultant at Southmead Hospital in Bristol in 1997. Fiona's main area of clinical and research interest is obstetric anaesthesia, with a focus on improving patient safety through team training.

Fiona has a longstanding commitment to teaching and training, having been College Tutor, Chair of the Board of the Bristol School of Anaesthesia, and an FRCA examiner.

Responding to her appointment, Fiona said:

“I am delighted and humbled by the trust and confidence the College has shown in making me your new President. The profile of our specialty has risen in the last 18-months and I am keen to maintain that position and to continue to advocate for our members whenever and however we can. We have shown that as a specialty, we are agile, adaptable, and resourceful, attributes that will be of pivotal importance in the years to come.

“The pandemic has changed much for many people, and the College is not exempt from this. Some priorities have inevitably changed as a result, but we must continue supporting our Anaesthetists in Training as they navigate the implementation of the new 2021 Anaesthetic Curriculum alongside sitting exams, finding jobs and achieving career progression. Equally, as we start to return to our building and to some face-to-face meetings with our members, I, along with Council and our brilliant staff team, want to develop an environment where we can build ever closer connections with our members. This is underpinned by a desire to see equity across the College, where members are given equal opportunity and are actively encouraged to contribute to the work we are undertaking to grow and secure our specialty.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me on this journey, and to take this opportunity to extend particular thanks to our outgoing President, Professor Ravi Mahajan , not only for his expert and calm leadership during a uniquely difficult period for the NHS, but also for his mentorship and wise counsel. I have a great team of Vice-Presidents by my side in the form of Professor William Harrop-Griffiths and Dr Russell Perkins. I also have incredible respect for the College staff who have done a brilliant job over the past 18-months supporting us all as members. I will do everything I can to represent you all to the best of my abilities and firmly believe that with kind, compassionate leadership we can achieve great things.”

Welcoming Fiona's appointment, the outgoing President, Professor Ravi Mahajan said:

“Fiona is a highly respected member of the anaesthetic specialty. She has had a long association with the College in a variety of roles and she is an excellent leader. Her sincerity and honesty put her in the perfect position to take the College and the specialty forward and I have no doubt she will lead our fellows and members to deliver the best outcomes for patients and advance the position of the College and anaesthesia."