Executive Committee

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Chair – Miss Karen Telford      

Karen Telford is a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Manchester University NHS Foundation trust and has been in post since 2005.  She has a specialist interest in pelvic floor disorders and has just been elected as the Chair of the Pelvic Floor Society.
Karen is also a honorary senior lecturer at the University of Manchester and has an active interest in research.  
Outside medicine, Karen is a wife, mother, skier and sailor, has Day Skipper and Yacht Master Theory qualifications and sails out of North Wales with her family.

Message from the Chair

I am honoured to be appointed as the Chair of The Pelvic Floor Society.  The executive committee members and I wish to thank Andy Williams for all his hard work, his amazing vision and leadership over the last four years, as he steps down from the Chair.  I am so pleased that Andy will stay on the committee for the next 12 months as past Chair, providing not only his wisdom but also his unique sense of humour. 


I am also delighted to announce that Carolynne Vaisey has been elected as Chair in Waiting and will take on the position at the end of my two year tenure period.  Carolynne’s credentials speak for themselves and the success of the recent Annual Conference in Plymouth is largely down to her hard work and foresight.  It is a testament to our society’s strength that we now have succession planning, providing stable leadership as the society grows and matures.


As we recover from Covid-19, the health and wellbeing of pelvic floor patients is at risk of being overlooked and we must ensure that these patients, often with devastating quality of life conditions are supported in these challenging times.  We also need to support the clinicians and AHPs who work so hard to look after patients with these complex conditions.  Education, training, research, clinical governance and information sharing need to be at the forefront of the society.  I believe that our future ambition should include these key areas for development as we continue to mature;



To drive and support training, education and mentoring of pelvic floor specialists, a major challenge for us, particularly in Covid-19 recovery period whilst utilising new digital technology to deliver this.


Policy and Process

It is incumbent on us as a society to deliver and develop open and transparent policies in the treatment of pelvic floor disorders particularly in dealing with the consequences of mesh surgery. It is likely that using a national mesh registry and the measurement of patient reported outcome measures will be a mandatory requirement within this field of medicine.



I anticipate there will be major changes in delivering education, training and clinical practice post Covid-19 and as a society we will have to adapt our practices to meet these requirements.  We will have to develop new ways of working, liaising more closely with the community continence teams to deliver first line management, as well as using technology to develop ‘telehealth’ for our patients.


Information Strategy

Provide an open and transparent public profile to maintain and increase public confidence, particularly the challenges of dealing with patient groups and the media.


To achieve this will take a lot of hard work and commitment, not only for myself but from the whole committee.  I believe that we can overcome the challenges we now face and build on the excellent work and leadership delivered by Andy in the previous four years.


Finally I am delighted to introduce TPFS new executive committee, with some new though familiar faces.  The society’s success is largely due to the hard working team that makes up the exec.


Past Chair: Mr Andrew Williams

Chair in Waiting & Programmes Committee Chair: Miss Carolynne Vaizey

Honorary Secretary: Miss Julie Cornish

Honorary Treasurer: Mr Shahab Siddiqi

Research and Development Committee Chair: Mr Tom Dudding
Education and Training Committee Chair: Mr Jonathan Randall
Quality Assurance, Clinical Governance and Accreditation Committee Chair:  Mr Mark Mercer-Jones
AHP Committee Chair:  Mrs Jane Dixon
Membership Secretary: Mr Wesley Lai
External Affairs Officer: Mrs Jennie Grainger

ACPGBI Council Representative: Mr Mark Chapman
Scottish Chapter ACPGBI Rep: Miss Dorin Ziyaie 
Welsh Chapter ACPGBI Rep: Miss Julie Cornish
Irish Chapter ACPGBI Rep
:  Mr Reza Kalbassi
Dukes Club Trainee Rep: Miss Annabelle Williams
BSG Rep: Dr Adam Farmer

Patient representative: Ms Sarah Squire


Chair: Elected by the members TPFS. A member must sign his/her agreement to stand. This nomination is co signed by nominator and seconder, all being members of TPFS. Term of office: 3 years. The chairperson reports to: The Chair and TPFS Executive and prepares an annual report outlining achievements, future objectives and strategies. The sub committee chair should also:
i. Coordinate the activities of the committee 
ii. Be present at the AGM should the membership have any questions about committee activities. 
iii. Lead all committee members in active participation in committee activities 
iv. Review committee member performance annually to determine contribution based on attendance at meetings, responsiveness to projects etc. Non-active members will then be asked to resign.

All members of this Committee must be active members of TPFS & are required to attend at least 2 out of three Annual Meetings. Members are also required to join teleconferences.


  • Face to face eg., during the summer and January scientific meetings. 
  • Teleconferences as required, with other communications carried out by email. 
  • One third of committee membership plus one shall be quorum.


Executive Committee meetings and sub committee meetings must be recorded, and kept and published on TPFS website in the member’s only section. Draft minutes of the meetings shall be sent to all those who attended for correction and subsequently made available to all members TPFS via the website within six weeks of the date of that meeting. Only a member attending the meeting in question may comment on the accuracy of the draft minutes. Any member of TPFS can comment on the subject discussed or the issues raised

Chair in Waiting & Programmes Committee Chair: Miss Carolynne Vaizey


The programme committee officer is responsible for the delivery of the programme of events for the ACPGBI pelvic floor section and the annual meeting of TPFS. They will work with the local organiser of the TPFS meeting and/or the Exec to invite speakers (local/national and international). They will consult with the TPFS exec with a proposed themes for the sessions. 

Duties of the Programmes Subcommittee Chair:

  • Ensure that the committee aims are met.
  • Organise at least 4 subcommittee meetings per year
  • Attend at least one Executive committee meeting per year. [In the event of being unable to attend an Executive committee, the Chair will ensure that an up to date report is available to each meeting in his/her absence].
  • Ensure appropriate minutes are kept

Term of the Chair will be for 3 years. The Chair may stand for a further 3 years if requested. This will need to be agreed by the rest of the committee and approved at TPFS AGM. The Chair should indicate whether he/she wishes to stand for a second term at the end of the second year of office. This will allow the appropriate and timely appointment of a shadow chair elect. The Chairman must have previously been a member of the Scientific subcommittee for at least one year.

The Scientific Subcommittee will have no more than 4 members (3 members + 1 trainee) plus the executive TPFS. Membership (as per chair) is for 3 or 6 years. Prior to a member leaving the committee, The Hon Secretary of TPFS will indicate potential committee vacancy to all PFS members by email to request applications from any interested party. A member may leave the committee at any time, although 3 months notice would be useful to fill that position with a replacement.

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Hon Secretary: Miss Julie Cornish

In addition to her secretarial duties and liaising with her conterparts at UKCS (Stephanie Knight) BSUG (Tim Hillard) and ACPGBI (Steve Brown), Julie represents TPFS within the Complex Colorectal CRG.

Research, Audit & Development Committee Chair: Mr Tom Dudding


  • Promote local and national audit with respect to pelvic floor interventions through use of a web based database
  • Maintain and update the database in conjunction with the system administrator
  • Produce an annual anonymous national audit report and present this back to TPFS members
  • Liaise with the ACP/BSUG/UKCS etc to produce joint guidelines.
  • Create independent guidelines.
  • Choose authors for the guidelines (not necessarily members of the committee)
  • Prepare responses to national guidelines for the executive committee
  • To develop parallel information on the guidelines
  • Produce information leaflets on commonly performed procedures
  • Promote high quality “Pelvic Floor” research in the UK.
  • Foster a “research” culture among TPFS membership
  • Be a member of the RCOG PFCStudies group (Kath Gill and Steve Brown)
  • Provide expert opinion on research matters to other organisations when requested or indicated.
  • Provide a point of contact between individual researchers or organisations wishing to work with TPFS in specific projects
  • Be a member of the scientific committee of the AGM
  • Organise the educational component of the AGM to provide CPD in matters relating to research design, conduct and governance
  • In conjunction with the Webmaster develop and maintain TPFS web site

Duties of this post:

  • Ensure that the committee aims are met
  • Organise at least one separate audit & research sub committee per year as well attending at least one executive committee meeting per year. In the event of being unable to attend an executive committee, the Chair will ensure that an up to date report is available to each meeting in his/her absence.
  • To ensure appropriate minutes are kept and file a copy of these with the Hon. Secretary

Term of Chair will be for 3 years. The Chair may stand for a further 3 years if requested. This will need to be agreed by the rest of the committee and approved at TPFS AGM. The Chair should indicate whether he/she wishes to stand for a second term at the end of the second year of office. This will allow the appropriate and timely appointment of a Shadow chair. Experience of research work is an essential requirement for all members of this committee. A Shadow Chair elect will be appointed at the AGM by the membership during the 3rd/6th year of the current Chair to shadow the responsibilities and ‘learn’ the roles of the position. This person should have served on the Audit Committee.

The R&D Committee will have no more than 8 members. Membership (as per chair) is for 3 or 6 years. Prior to a member leaving the committee, TPFS Hon. Secretary will indicate potential committee vacancy to all PFS members by email to request applications from any interested party. ONE member will be a subspeciality member.

Members will be removed if they do not attend subcommittee meetings or contribute to the work of the committee. A member may leave the committee at any time, although 3 months notice would be useful to fill that position with a replacement.

Training Sub Committee: Chair Mr Jonathan Randall

The Education and Training Committee work to improve the training of specialists in Pelvic Floor Disorders. The committee represents Consultants and senior trainees but also aims to contribute towards the education needs of Allied Health Professionals. The Committee works alongside the Executive Committee of TPFS and is represented on the ACPGBI Education and Training Committee.

The committee's work has included:

• Supporting specified courses linked to TPFS to ensure coverage of the curriculum and organising funded places for TPFS members
• Developing a curriculum in Pelvic Floor Disorders with associated work-based assessments and logbooks
• Promoting and reporting on upcoming courses related to Pelvic Floor Disorders in the TPFS newsletter
• Identifying senior trainers who would act as mentors for trainees and other consultants who wish to specialise in Pelvic Floor Disorders and creating a register of units that will provide support and preceptorship
• Identifying and supporting fellowships in Pelvic Floor Surgery
• Developing the trainee areas of TPFS's National Conferences
• Working with the Dukes' Club on initiatives that will promote training in Pelvic Floor Surgery
• The committee is working with the TPFS website team to increase the amouth of e-resources available to TPFS members. In the future we hope to have a wide range of lectures and teaching materials easily accessible to members

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QA & Clinical Governance Committee TPFS: Mr Mark Mercer-Jones

Mark Mercer-Jones is a practising colorectal surgeon in Gateshead. Over 75 % of his work is in pelvic floor surgery. He co-founded TPFS in 2012 with a vision to identify colorectal PF surgery as a subspecialty of colorectal surgery with its own specific requirements for governance, accreditation, training and R&D. In addition the inclusion of other AHCP's and disciplines was a key requirement in the formation of the society.

QA & Clinical Governance and Accreditation Chair

The chair will provide professional advice on setting up and maintaining the accreditation process and register in colorectal pelvic floor surgery. The chair will also provide support and advice on clinical governance issues on behalf of TPFS and when collaborations are forged or input required.


The QA & Clinical Governance and Accreditation chair will be accountable to TPFs Executive Committee
Term of duty: Nominations will be received from the TPFS membership at the Annual General Meeting. Proposed membership should be for a period of 3 years, renewable for a further 3-year term.

Terms of reference -

The role of the Certification/accreditation chair is to:
• Develop professional standards that define the satisfactory and safe practice of PF treatments within the society’s disease area / area of interest.
• Develop effective working relationships with allied groups and organizations.
• Set criteria for accreditation of pelvic floor units and the PFMDT.
• Accept applications from PF units wanting accreditation and marking submitted applications.
• Set up a central register of certified colorectal & radiological practitioners and preceptors.
• Liaise professionally with the Post-graduate Medical Education and Training Board, Royal College of Surgeons, Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, Royal College of Nursing, Chartered Society of Physiotherapists and other relevant professional organisations whose membership undertake colorectal pelvic floor surgery.
• Liaise with the Education committee as appropriate
• Liaise as necessary, with the Governance committee of the ACPGBI & BSUG

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Physiotherapy, Specialist Nurses & Allied Health Care Workers Sub Committe: Chair Jane Dixon

Jane Dixon is an independent consultant physiotherapist based in Northumberland. She has specialised in the conservative management of pelvic floor dysfunction for over 30 years and currently teaches ultrasound scanning both nationally and internationally. She was awarded a Fellowship of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in 2012 for her contribution to furthering the role of physiotherapists working within the area of continence and pelvic health.

The chair will be accountable to TPFS’s Executive Committee and acts as a liaison between the AHP and Specialist Nurse members of the Pelvic Floor Society, and members of other professional groups representing pelvic health.


Term of Office:  Nominations will be received from AHP and Specialist Nurse members of TPFS at the Annual General Meeting.  The Term of Office is 3 years.  The Chair can be re-elected for a further term of 3 years, at which point they must stand down.


The sub-committee will be composed of representatives from all AHP and specialist nurse members of TPFS.  Meetings will be held during the Annual Conference, and virtually as necessary.

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Hon Membership Secretary: Mr Wesley Lai

Wesley Lai TPFS

The membership secretary is responsible for the processing of applications for membership of TPFS. The position is by election at the appropriate AGM and will normally be for three years, but is renewable. The membership secretary shall liaise with the secreatary of ACPGBI on membership issues relating to prospective and current colorectal surgical members of TPFS. The membership secretary is accountable to the executive of TPFS.

The membership secretary shall hold a list of the membership, their professional status, contact details and publications relevant to the pelvic floor. The latter shall be indexed and be made available to the membership via the web site. The membership secretary is also responsible for the distribution and dissemination of information from the TPFS to its members.

Hon Treasurer: Mr Shahab Siddiqi

The treasurer is responsible for maintaining the treasury and the day to day finances of the society to include its meetings. This role requires aclose working relationship with Mr Seamus Kelly, Hon Treasurer of ACPGBI, its administrator Anne O'Mara and our industry partners. 

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External Affairs Officer: Mrs Jennie Grainger

The External Affairs Officer shall be responsible for how TPFS is presented to the outside  world, mainly through their website and social media presence. They will work closely with the Dukes Club rep to uphold the social media accounts of TPFS. Their main role is the running and upkeep of the TPFS website and acting as webmaster.

They may deal with outside agencies that may contact TPFS for information and comments on matters related to the pelvic floor. This also involves liason with the ACPGBI rep and other patient groups. They consider matters of public concern, public relations, ethical practice  and advise the rest of the Executive Committee as needed.

They will be responsible for producing a report for each committtee meeting and present any information required the AGM

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ACPGBI Council Representative: Mr Mark Chapman

This new role is to ensure seamless communication between TPFS and the ACPGBI as our "parent" surgical body.  The post holder will be expected to attend Council meetings of both organisations, producing a report for circulation.  The post holder will maintain close communication between the officers of both organisations  in order to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship 

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Dukes' Club Representative: Miss Annabelle Williams

Annabelle has recently gained her CCT in General Surgery and is undertaking a Fellowship in Pelvic Floor and Intestinal Failure at St Marks Hospital. She has an interest in benign colorectal disorders including Pelvic Floor, Intestinal Failure and Proctology especially with regards specialist training and research within these fields.

The Dukes Club Representative shall be a senior trainee wishing to pursue a special interest in Pelvic Floor Surgery and will be a full member of the executive, the training and education committee and scientific/programme committee. The post is for a fixed term of 1 year. The post is advertised yearly through the Duke's Club and candidates are elected at the annual Dukes Club weekend. Please view the Training and Education section for further information.

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Scottish Chapter ACPGBI Represenative : Miss Dorin Ziyaie

Scotland as a region has lacked the well defined Pelvic Floor groups that have evolved in the South and PF has not found a specific place on the activity list of the ACPGBI chapter. There are pockets of good practice with interested individuals and teams but no forum for exchange of views or for the multidisciplinary components to interact and plan together. This is especially important now that devolution of healthcare appears to be creating an increasing divergence in the organisation and mechanism of funding of health services between England and Scotland.  Scotland is also unique in having the RCS(Ed) and the RCPSG. These colleges have significant international memberships and are the dominant forces in the East and West coasts of Scotland rather than RCS(Eng). Although there are some areas of intercollegiate working between the UK colleges and examinations are equivalent they remain distinctly independent otherwise. This has to be borne in mind by any UK national organisation.

The existence of the Scottish Pelvic Floor Network (SPFN) means a multi disciplinary group already exists. This has been an excellent vehicle for urogynaecology and has a strong academic and research interest in that area. There is a very well organized and attended annual meeting and a number of training events. There has been some increase in content of a colorectal nature but this does remain peripheral at present.  A key issue has been how to integrate the increasing colorectal involvement with the pelvic floor and the needs of those surgeons, with the aims and remit of the SPFN. A key question to address is whether the SPFN is currently the approporiate mechanism to advance and support colorectal surgeons with a PF interest in Scotland.

A Pelvic Floor Course was organised in Dundee in 2014 with the aim of bringing together colorectal surgeons with a PF interest and the multidisciplinary teams they work with in Scotland.  Although informal there was representation from most regions of Scotland thus approximating the first national gathering of this group. A valuable opportunity for teaching and training was created but also a chance to discuss the future of PF surgery in Scotland and the role of TPFS and the SPFN. Although not an official body there was a clear feeling that colorectal surgeons with a pelvic floor practice required a supporting organisation. It was further felt that the SPFN in its current format would not be able to provide the appropriate framework and that a UK national body allied to the ACPGBI would be the best choice.

There was thus very clear support from colorectal surgeons for moving PF surgery forward in Scotland under the umbrella of TPFS. There was also support from the gynaecologists present. It was acknowledged that it would be important to avoid any feeling of conflict or competition with the SPFN and this element must be carefully handled to ensure the multidisciplinary basis required.

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Welsh ACPGBI representative: Vacant

There are substantial regional differences in pelvic floor services across the UK. The Welsh representative can be anyone (whatever role) who is a member of TPFS who is keen to develop services, promote TPFS activity within Wales and encourage trainees/students to participate in pelvic floor and TPFS educational events.

Irish ACPGBI Representative:  Mr Reza Kalbassi

The healthcare system in the whole Island  of Ireland is basically divided into the NHS in Northern Ireland and the HSE ( Health services Executive/ Public Health services) along with a well established Private Hospital system  in Republic of Ireland. 
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a very common problem in Ireland affecting mostly women and also a group of men. Patients have been embarrassed by their symptoms and suffered in silence for a long time.
Pelvic floor services have been particularly evolving in the last few years with establishment of Multidisciplinary team approach to pelvic floor practice and education of General practitioners and the public. The media has been very helpful in raising patients awareness. GP Educational events in the country has allowed identification of these conditions, early referral and treatment at specialist centres. 
Collaboration across the different specialties of Coloproctology, Gastroenterology, Urology, Gynaecology, Radiology and Psychology with support from Pelvic floor Physiotherapy and clinical specialist nursing teams should be the gold standard and encouraged in pelvic floor practice. This would offer patients the best possible treatments and outcomes in complex problems which are often very debilitating.
Affiliation and engagement with the pelvic floor society and increasing the Irish consultants/ practitioners membership of the society would allow further progress, development, eduction, research  and clinical governance ensuring high quality of care for patients. 

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UKCS Representative: Mr Phillip Toozs-Hobson

TPFS Board member Neuromodulation Society UK & I: Mr Tom Dudding