Hepato-pancreato-biliary consultant surgeon
Giuseppe joined the Royal Free Hospital in 2000 as a registrar and has worked here full time since 2007. He is also Professor of Surgery at UCL, based at the Royal Free Hospital. Originally from Italy he moved to the UK at the age of 32.
“I’m a surgeon first and foremost and most of my work involves cancer patients such as pancreatic cancer, liver metastases, primary liver cancer and biliary tract cancer. I’m usually operating a couple of days a week and the rest of the time I’m seeing in-patients, plus there’s clinical meetings, multidisciplinary team meetings and also research and academic work.
“Back in March we were inundated with COVID-19 patients on the wards and intensive care. It sent massive shock waves through the system and it was crucial that we supported the other specialities like ITU and A&E. Despite the war zone type of environment it was incredible to see how people came together and the sense of unity – I never heard a single complaint and I’d like to pay particular tribute to the work of the junior doctors and the nurses. I helped with proning the patients and also helping ITU colleagues with things that I could do, such as inserting lines, and learning from them as well.
“As the number of COVID-19 cases dropped at the Royal Free Hospital the NHSE relocated patients with time critical conditions to the private sector, including Princess Grace Hospital which was contracted to provide operational support. We were trying to provide a service for the patients with cancer who couldn’t wait and eventually of course we were able to resume surgery back at the Royal Free Hospital.
“From a personal point of view through all of this I’ve felt incredibly privileged to come to work and support people who were unwell and I know my colleagues feel the same. I know that patients coming for cancer treatment have found the additional worry of potentially contracting COVID-19 when they are fighting cancer stressful, although we do take every precaution and people are tested for the virus before they come to hospital. But they also tell me how pleased they are that their operations have been able to go ahead.”