Breast and oncoplastic consultant surgeon and clinical lead for breast services at the Royal Free London
Debashis grew up in Mumbai, India and came to the UK in 1995. He joined the Royal Free Hospital in 2009 for senior clinical fellowship training and ended up staying. He works in the one stop breast clinic and operates on patients with breast cancer and also carries out breast reconstruction.
“Right from the beginning of the pandemic we were adamant that the breast service would not shut down. We moved to the private sector and I’m incredibly proud to say we never stopped our service for a single day. It was a mammoth undertaking moving all our theatre lists and patients. I was also involved with delivering the protocols to make sure that breast services, not just for the Royal Free London but across the whole of London kept running.
“Although we saw fewer patients – some did decide to postpone treatment – we were working very long hours. Meetings started at 7am and the last meeting could be taking place at 9pm. Even now we’re having to work longer hours to achieve the same amount of work because of the necessary protocols and safety restrictions in place. It is just how it has to be.
“I was really pleased that the cameras were able to observe what we were doing. They asked a lot of questions about our work, they really wanted to understand what was going on. I do a lot of teaching work so it felt very normal having them there as I’m often observed by students and have to explain what I’m doing. I was delighted to showcase our team’s work, I’m always very proud of the Royal Free London.”