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Dr Rachel Hargest

Dr Rachel Hargest

Clinical Senior Lecturer

School of Medicine

+44 (0)29 2068 7065
UHW Main Building


I am a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Colorectal Surgery and a member of the Cardiff China Medical Research Collaborative (CCMRC). My clinical practice is performed mainly at University Hospital of Wales, with day surgery and clinic commitments at Llandough and Velindre hospitals respectively. I run a large, busy colorectal practice with special interests in colorectal and anal cancer, genetic disorders which predispose to colorectal cancer, redo and damage limitation surgery, the “catastrophe abdomen” and intestinal failure and complex proctology including fistulae.

I collaborate with other members of CCMRC in studying the mechanisms by which tumours can metastasize (spread) throughout the body. I jointly supervise PhD and MD students, and coordinate clinical placements for visiting overseas post graduate students and doctors.

As part of the delivery of C21 undergraduate education I coordinate and provide placements for third and final year MB BCh students and coordinate the surgical oncology teaching for Year 3. I also organise and provide surgical placements for elective and Erasmus students from many parts of the world.


Honours and awards

Silver Scalpel Award 2017 - This prestigious award is given by the Associaiton of Surgeons in Training (ASIT) to the best surgical trainer in the UK.  Following nomination by surgical trainees from Cardiff and further afield, ASIT visited Cardiff to interview myself and colleagues. Assessment was made across five domains - leadership, resourcefulness, training and development, professionalism and communication. Following the interivews, the final 3 candidates were assessed by a panel including the presidents of the four Royal Colleges of Surgery and chaired by Sir Bruce Keogh (NHS England Medical Director).   The award was presented at the annual meeting of ASIT in Bournemouth in April 2017.

British Medical Journal Gastroenterology Team of the year award 2015
The Cardiff and Vale Health Board Intestinal Failure Team won the BMJ Gastroenterology team of the year award in 2014. This was for our work over the last 5 years to improve services for Welsh patients who require home total parenteral nutrition. Since I took on the surgical lead role in this team we have been able to offer surgery to patients in Wales, who would previously have had to travel to London or Manchester. The team provides very high standards of medical and nursing support, along with excellent surgical outcomes for those who require surgery.

NHS Award for improving patient care 2012
During my time as lead clinician for colorectal cancer (2010-15) the colorectal team at University Hospital of Wales won this award for introducing an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program for patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer.

Professional memberships

  • General Medical Council
  • Registered with GMC, with a licence to practice,
  • On the Specialist Register (General Surgery) since 1999
  • Appeals Assessor
  • Royal Society of Medicine (RSM)
  • President Elect of Section of Surgery (for 2016-17)
  • Trustee and member of RSM Council (2011-present)
  • Honorary Treasurer (2014-2018)
  • Director of RSM International (2014–present)
  • Director of RSM Support Services (2014- present)
  • Director of RSM Press (2012-2013)
  • Treasurer of Surgical Section of RSM (2010-2012)
  • Secretary of Surgical Section of RSM (2012-2013)
  • Member of Coloproctology section of RSM
  • Council member of Gastroenterology Section of RSM (2013-present)
  • Royal College of Surgeons (RCS)
  • Academic representative on Welsh Board of RCS (2007-2015)
  • RCS representative on Advisory Appointments Committees
  • National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
  • Royal College of Surgeons representative on the management board of NICE- National Collaborating Centre for Cancer (2008-2016)
  • British Association of Surgical Oncology
  • Trustee and Member of BASO National Executive Committee 2011-15
  • EJSO representative 2011-15
  • Member of Society of Academic and Research Surgeons
  • Member of Association of Surgeons of Great Britain & Ireland
  • Member of Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain & Ireland (ACPGBI)
  • Member of Disciplinary Panel of ACPGBI
  • Member of British Society of Gastroenterology
  • Member of Welsh Association of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy
  • Member of International Society for Hereditary Gastrointestinal Tumours

Academic positions

  • 2000-2007 Honorary Lecturer, Cardiff University
  • Editorial and peer reviewing duties
    • Recent Advances in Surgery
    • Joint Editor (appointed 2015)
  • Peer reviewer for the following journals:
    • The Lancet
    • Annals of Royal College of Surgeons
    • European Journal of Surgical Oncology
    • Cellular Oncology
    • Gut
    • BMC Gastroenterology
    • International Journal of Dermatology Research and Therapy
  • Peer reviewer for the following grant giving organisations:
    • Royal College of Surgeons of England
    • Department of Health in Scotland

Speaking engagements

Invited Lectures (2010-15)

December 2015

  • Advances in Minimal Access Colorectal Surgery - Will Traditional Surgeons be put out of Business?
    Address to Retired Fellows’ Society, Royal Society of Medicine, London

November 2015

  • Update on Colorectal Cancer for the Intercollegiate Examination
    British Association of Surgical Oncology/Royal Society of Medicine Conference, London
  • What is an Advisory Appointments Committee?
    British Association of Surgical Oncology/Royal Society of Medicine Conference, London

May 2015

  • Mechanisms of Metastasis and Angiogenesis in Colorectal Cancer
    Universatario Clinico San Carlos, Madrid
  • The Challenges of Providing Cancer Care in Wales
    MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Spain

Sept 2014

  • Intestinal Failure Surgery – The Welsh Experience
    Lebanese Association of Surgeons, American University of Beirut

June 2014

  • Reporting individual Surgeon outcomes for Colorectal Cancer in the UK – Will this improve Patient Outcome or Deny Treatment to more Complex Cases?
    China-United Kingdom Cancer Conference, Beijing

June 2014

  • Gastric Cancer in Wales – West versus East
    9th National Gastric Cancer Academic Conference, Beijing

May 2013

  • The Relook Laparotomy - Golden Rules for the Surgeon
    British Intestinal Failure Alliance (BIFA) meeting, Cardiff

April 2013

  • Anal Intraepithelial Neoplasia and Anal Cancer
    Joint meeting of Royal Society of Medicine and Department of Surgery, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm.

March 2013

  • How can I succeed in my Consultant Appointment?
    Royal Society of Medicine, London

February 2013

  • Angiogenesis and Anti-Angiogenic Therapies in Colorectal Cancer
    9th International Congress on Collateral Disease Theory, Shanghai

Sept 2012

  • Current Indications for Resection of Colorectal Liver Metastases in the UK (NICE Recommendations)
    International Joint Symposium of Clinical and Translational Studies of Gastrointestinal Malignancies. Joint meeting between Cardiff University, Juntendo University and Peking University Cancer Hospital, Beijing

Sept 2012

  • UK Perspective on Live MDT Recording
    International Joint Symposium of Clinical and Translational Studies of Gastrointestinal Malignancies. Joint meeting between Cardiff University, Juntendo University and Peking University Cancer Hospital, Beijing
  • Early Rectal Cancer
    7th Chinese Conference on Oncology (CCO) and 11th Cross-Strait Academic Conference on Oncology, Beijing

June 2012

  • Debate; Time in theatre should be obligatory for training in medical gastroenterology
    British Society of Gastroenterology, Digestive Disorders Federation, Liverpool
  • Debate: This house believes that all emergency surgical admissions should be seen by a consultant within 12 hours of admission
    Royal Society of Medicine, President’s Day, St Mark’s Hospital, Harrow

May 2012

  • Radiotherapy Local / Regional Surgical Perspective
    Management of Gastrointestinal Problems Following Treatment for Cancer. Oncology Symposium, Swansea
  • Lessons from Pakistan
    Bethesda Naval Hospital, Washington, USA

May 2010

  • Overview of Gene Therapy & its Potential Relevance to Surgeons
    Department of Surgery, University of North Carolina