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SAS and LED Committee

The SAS and LED Committee represents SAS and LE doctors within the RCOG.

Dr Laura Hipple, RCOG National SAS & LED Lead/Chair

Appointed in April 2018, and representing SAS/Trust doctors on RCOG Council.

Laura graduated from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1986, and did junior and senior house officer jobs in the North-East of England before starting the Northern Regional O&G Registrar Training scheme in 1988. Having gained MRCOG in 1992, she made a positive decision to step off the traditional consultant career pathway into a full time Staff Grade job in North Cumbria in 1993. This has allowed her to combine a full and satisfying career in the hospital specialty she loves with regular hours, geographical stability and living and working in a beautiful part of the country, and is a decision she has never regretted.

Laura has a Diploma in Advanced Obstetric Scanning and became an Associate Specialist in 2003 and FRCOG in 2004. She has special interests in early pregnancy, fertility, pregnancy loss and antenatal screening. In 2013 she was appointed SAS Tutor for North Cumbria University Hospitals and in this role has worked to raise the profile of SAS doctors within North Cumbria and helped organise a programme of generic development days for local SAS/Trust doctors of all specialties.

Laura is passionate about the valuable role SAS and Trust doctors have in our specialty, about promoting SAS Doctor posts as a viable, satisfying, alternative career pathway to a consultant one and supporting and encouraging SAS/Trust doctors to reach their full potential. Laura believes we should be defined by our abilities, not our job titles, and that SAS/Trust doctors can be excellent clinicians, leaders, and have research and teaching roles.

Dr Hema Ganesh MBBS, FRCOG, DFSRH, Medical student lead for Obs and Gynae

I graduated from Madras Medical College in 1996 and have worked in the NHS since 1998.I worked mainly in the South of England in SHO and registrar posts, prior to taking up my current job as a Speciality doctor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. I gained my MRCOG in 2002 and obtained FRCOG in 2016.

My interest include labour ward, fertility and medical education. In my role as rota co-ordinator for junior doctors for several years have had first experience of the training system in Obs and Gynae and the thrills of being a SAS doctor. Professional development for SAS doctors is an area that I am keen to work on and I am interested to explore how this can be achieved in a more structured way.

I currently lead the Obs and Gynae programme for the medical students from University of Southampton in Guildford and this has given me an opportunity to promote our speciality as a career choice for our future doctors.


Post CESR SAS Doctor, Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust
Assistant Secretary for British Society for the Study of Vulval Diseases (BSSVD)

I have graduated from Cairo University in 1993. I completed my Internship and four years of residency training in O&G in Egypt. I studied for three years for Master Degree in O&G, and completed MSc in 2000.

I worked as a Specialist in O&G in several Arabian countries before being selected by the RCOG for the Overseas Training Fellowship. I spent two years in recognised training posts, and I passed my MRCOG in 2007.

I took the Speciality Doctor post in 2008 as it was more convenient for the stability of my family life. I worked in several regions including London, South East, Yorkshire, Cumbria, and Devon.

Over the years, I maintained my enthusiasm for specialist registration, which was a huge incentive for learning and for continuous professional development.

I then studied for Colposcopy accreditation and became a member of BSCCP in 2011. I also studied for the DFSRH and became a Diplomate in 2013.

I have completed RCOG ATSMs in Advanced Labour Ward Practice, Vulval Diseases, Abortion Care, and the equivalence for ATSM in Early pregnancy and acute gynaecology.

I have developed RCOG Good Practice Document No 12 “Improving Patient Handover”. I have also participated in developing the national guidance: “Standards of care for women with vulval conditions”

I have several publications in peer reviewed journals, as well as two chapters in 2 published books. This is in addition to poster and oral presentations in national and international meetings.

I have been very passionate about teaching. I have participated in developing STRATOG module for vulval diseases. Also, I have worked for the FSRH as a member of the Editorial Group for e-learning modules related to eLFH website. I have acted as an assessor for the applications for RCOG grants and RCOG travel scholarships for two years

I am the Assistant Secretary for the British Society for the Study of Vulval Diseases (BSSVD), and I chair the Quality Assurance Committee for the society. I have been representing the society at the RCOG meetings and Annual Professional Development Conference for the last few years. I represent the society during the Annual Junior doctors’ career day and the Annual Medical students’ day. I am a member of the RCOG Abstract / Scientific committee for the 2019 Congress in London.

With over 25 years of training and experience in obstetrics & Gynaecology, I have applied for specialist registration through Article 14. My CESR application was approved by the GMC in 2014. Now, I am working as a substantive Post CESR  Speciality Doctor in obstetrics & gynaecology at Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust in London.

Julie Ann Forbes – Representative from Northern Ireland

Originally from Northern Ireland, I studied at the University of Dundee and graduated first with BSc Hons in Microbiology and microbial genetics then MBChB from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.  I worked in Tayside region before returning to Northern Ireland to train in Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

When I was offered a Staff Grade post in the Regional Gynae Oncology Centre in 2003 I saw this as a positive career opportunity which would enable me to develop my interest in Gynae Oncology in a permanent post in a forward thinking department whilst also helping me achieve a desirable work life balance.

I was appointed Associate Specialist in 2009. 

I have had an interest in SAS career development for some time. I spoke on Career progression for SAS at the RCOG annual professional development conference. I have represented SAS at the Northern Ireland committee of the RCOG since 2013.

I work in the largest integrated health and social care trust in the UK & in May 2019 I was appointed Belfast Trust SAS lead. I have established and participate in a Regional SAS Lead group and represent SAS on the Trust workforce group. I am committed to ensuring career development and progression for SAS and am delighted to work with Laura and the other regional representatives on the RCOG advisory group to raise the profile of our grade within the college and beyond.

Dr. Laura Rylah, MBBS, MRCOG

In October 2020 I was appointed as a Specialty Doctor in Winchester hospital. I am delighted to have been asked to be a representative for the Wessex region as I navigate this new career path.

I graduated from UCL Medical School in 2009 having completed a Biology degree at Leeds University prior to this. I commenced training in Obstetrics & Gynaecology in Wessex in 2011 after doing my Foundation jobs in the North Central Thames area.

I gained my MRCOG in 2019 and I am incredibly proud to have been awarded the Prize Medal for the Part 3 examination.

I made the positive decision to move aside from training at the level of ST6 to continue working in a unit which I love. Remaining in one place with trusted colleagues hugely contributes to my job satisfaction and provides more stability for my family and me. I have two young children and my husband is an Anaesthetist for the Royal Navy, so this career move will compliment his commitments which include regular deployments over the coming years.

My interests include Obstetric scanning and teaching and I have been asked to take on the role of Medical Student teaching lead locally. I am exploring the opportunity to start a Mental Health Antenatal clinic in my unit and I am working with the midwives to provide greater structured support for staff in O&G after difficult cases. I am excited to embark upon this new career path, working in a specialty that I find incredibly fulfilling.

Dr. Michael Togobo BSc, BSc, MBChB, DFSRH, MRCOG

A British-born Ghanaian born in Nottingham and grew up in London.

My first degree was from University of Southampton. Keen to go back to my roots, I graduated at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology – School of Medical Sciences in Ghana where I had the opportunity to work with the United Nations and military as a Senior Medical Officer.

Developed an interest in Obstetrics and Gynaecology whilst working in a fertility hospital in Ghana. Came back to the UK where my first job was in Yorkshire and have stayed there ever since.

I am currently an SAS doctor in Mid-Yorkshire NHS Trust.  Keen to develop a community of SAS/LED doctors, to maximise their potential and realise their worth among themselves and within the NHS.  

Dr Rakhee Saxena, MRCOG, DRANZCOG, DGO

Primarily, I graduated from India and successfully accomplished the Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2006. Following this, I have diligently worked in Australia for a period of 10 years and additionally, whilst working in Australia I also gained MRCOG in 2016.

Consequently, I moved to the UK in 2017 and since then I have been working as a LED at the University Hospitals of Leicester. I firmly believe in working alongside other LEDs in order to help them to reach their full and utmost potential and support them on their career pathway of either becoming a Consultant or a SAS. I would like to be the footing that catalyses the metamorphosis of these LEDs into whichever role they wish.

I have been given this wonderful role of representing the SAS/LEDs for the Midlands region. I am extremely keen and enthusiastic in establishing a strong community which focuses on working with other representatives on the SAS advisory group, to help and motivate the SAS/LEDs to achieve the roles that they rightfully deserve.