Fergus trained in medicine in Oxford and London and has worked for the NHS in England, Scotland and Wales for over 35 years. He is an oncologist with a special interest in lung cancer and has been involved in clinical research trials for many years. He has been the author of a number of primary research papers and four Cochrane reviews and is currently joint Coordinating Editor of the Cochrane Lung Cancer Group. He has been involved in clinical guideline development for 15 years for the Royal College of Radiologists, SIGN and NICE. He was a member of NICE’s original guidelines advisory committee and in 2003 set up and led the National Collaborating Centre for Cancer, developing service guidance and clinical guidelines on cancer topics for NICE. During 2005 he worked with a group at the International Atomic Energy Authority developing guidelines on lung cancer for resource limited countries. In 2008 he joined NICE full time as Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice, responsible for the clinical guidelines programme. In his spare time he is a wine-sipping, cat-loving, bicycle-riding gardener and mountaineer, who hopes to climb a couple more 4,000m peaks in the Alps this summer.
Vision for G-I-N over the next 5 years
Clinical guideline developers around the world must be facing similar challenges in the early 21st century: relentless technological development and increasing public expectation and demand in the face of economic downturn and financial constraints. Clinical guidelines on most appropriate (and cost effective) practice will therefore be even more influential for decision makers throughout healthcare – patients, health professionals, managers, politicians. At the same time we need to get smarter and more efficient about how we develop, update and present our guidelines to have the greatest impact. G-I-N has a proud track record in promoting international sharing and learning and it is now even more important that it fosters this and ensures that valuable new methodological and technical developments (as well as mistakes to avoid) are disseminated quickly and widely. I am very aware that we are relatively well resourced in the UK and I have a particular interest in how countries with fewer resources can best use clinical guidelines to shape healthcare in an appropriate, pragmatic way. I would like G-I-N to have a leading role in opening up the black box of decision-making between evidence and recommendation, so we can learn from each other how different cultures and values influence choices and how to make the best decisions for our own situation.