About this event

  • Date and time Tue 20 Apr 2021 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Medicine and Me, Behçet's UK

Jointly organised with Behçet’s UK, this meeting will give you an understanding of what it is like to live with Behçet’s from people living with the condition.

Behçet’s is a chronic condition causing unpredictable outbreaks of inflammation. It is considered a form of vasculitis, particularly affecting blood vessels, including arteries and veins. Inflammation can affect the whole system, with symptoms presenting anywhere in the body that has a blood supply, from the brain to the feet. There are estimated to be around 2,500 Behçet’s patients in the UK, while it is more common in the Middle East and Asia.

We bring together patients and leading experts, including the Clinical Directors of the three National Behçet’s Centres of Excellence, who will discuss their experiences and current approaches to care of Behçet's patients, non-pharmacological strategies to manage areas of associated current unmet needs, such as fatigue, pain and headaches, and examine approaches to managing patient expectations in a very rare disease.

Topics will include:

  • Success in managing Behçet’s - where we are now
  • Managing Behçet’s at Centres of Excellence in NHS England; what works and what doesn't, as well as the patient journey and outcomes within the devolved nations
  • Current challenges and unmet needs
  • Strategic issues as a result of unknown aetiology, condition rarity, heterogeneity, diverse progression in condition and treatment, identification of patients and biospecimens from multiple data sources, and harnessing comprehensive data in sufficient numbers

Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar link 2 hours before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted. 

This webinar is available for on-demand viewing. The webinar recording will be available for registered delegates up to 30 days after the live webinar broadcast via Zoom. The link will be sent 24 hours after the webinar takes place. 

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About Medicine and Me

Medicine and Me meetings aim to provide an outline of current best practice and future updates of important conditions and to give direct voice to patients and their carers and enable them to discuss their concerns and reflections on the impact of diagnosis, investigation and management. Physicians, surgeons and indeed all healthcare professionals, continue to learn from and be inspired to greater efforts to improve care by hearing directly from patients.

We would like to thank our anonymous donor for their generous support enabling this platform for patient focused charities and free access to the Medicine and Me series

Key speakers

Dr Rohan Deva Situnayake MSc FRCP

Consultant Rheumatologist, Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, University of Birmingham and Clinical Lead and Director, Birmingham National Centre of Excellence for Behcet’s, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital NHS Trust

Speaker's biography

Dr Rohan D Situnayake MBChB (Birm) MSc Warwick FRCP is a consultant rheumatologist, with previous leadership positions including roles as Deputy and Medical Director for the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust and is currently Clinical Lead and Director Birmingham National Centre of Excellence for Behçets Disease from 2013 to the present. He has leadership expertise in clinical innovation and transformation and remains an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer University of Birmingham Academic Department of Rheumatology. 


In his clinical role he is a consultant rheumatologist practising in general rheumatology but with a specific interest in inflammatory arthritis, connective tissue disease and the impact of race/genetics on disease expression/outcome having been at the Trust since 1990.  He also runs a variety of clinics for patients with connective tissue disease (including systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma and overlap syndromes), osteoporosis and fibromyalgia. 


As a Medical Director he has contributed towards the planning of a new hospital, reconfiguration of hospital services particularly with respect to medical staffing and implementation of effective systems for clinical governance, job planning and appraisal. These skills have been applied to create a ‘one-stop, multi-disciplinary solution shop’ approach to the diagnosis and management of Behcet’s. He has ongoing research interests in the epidemiology and clinical phenotypes of Behcet’s and clinical trials of biological treatment

Professor Dorian Haskard

Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Rheumatology, Imperial College and President, International Society for Behçet’s Disease

Speaker's biography

Professor Dorian Haskard obtained his first degree in physiology at the University of Oxford and then moved to the Middlesex Hospital Medical School for clinical training. He developed his interest in vascular inflammation as a Fellow with Dr Morris Ziff at UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas from 1984-1986.  In 1987 he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship to develop his own laboratory at the UMDS, Guy’s Hospital.


He joined the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Medicine in 1990. In October 1995 he was appointed to a Personal Chair in Rheumatology and to the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Sir John McMichael Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine, which he occupied until 2016.


He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2001. He has held a number of senior administrative positions at Imperial College London, including Head of the Section of Vascular Science and Head of the Division of Cardiovascular Clinical Science within the National Heart and Lung Institute, and Head of Immunology and Inflammation within the Department of Medicine. 


He currently convenes the Imperial College Network of Excellence in Vascular Science and serves as a College Consul for the Faculty of Medicine. His research is focused on understanding the biological basis of atherosclerosis and vascular inflammation. He has a long-standing interest in Behçet’s Disease and is currently President of the International Society for Behçet’s Disease. 

Professor Farida Fortune CBE

Director, Behçet’s Centre of Excellence in London

Speaker's biography

Professor Fortune is Professor of Medicine in relation to Oral Health and Head of the Centre for Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences, and the Director of the Behçet’s Centre of Excellence in London, having led the bid to establish them in 2016.


Graduating in both Dentistry and Medicine from University College, University of London, she obtained her PhD in 1992, and listed on the specialist register for Oral Medicine in Dentistry (GDC), and Immunology in Medicine (GMC). Appointed Senior Lecturer in Immunology and Honorary Consultant in Oral Medicine at UMDS (Guys and St Thomas Hospital), in 1998 she was conferred the title of Professor of Oral Medicine at Leeds University. Further appointments include President of the British Society of Oral Medicine in 2007, Dean and Head and Institute Director of Dentistry for Dentistry at Barts and The London between 2007-2013, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 2009, President of Odontology section of the Royal Society of Medicine in 2011 and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians 2017.


Championing wider access for underrepresented groups in education and health nationally and internationally she was appointed to the Advisory Board member of Mosaic in 2016 whose mission is to support disadvantaged children and young people from deprived communities in the UK.


Professor Fortune's main research focus is epithelial biology, including mucosal disease and oral cancer, on which she has published extensively. Teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level, her expertise is in curriculum development, assessment methodology and quality assurance; chairing the RCS committee and instrumental in the reintroduction of the LDS RCSeng and a member of UK HEAC.


She has been recognised as the top five most influential Muslim women in the Guardian’s society segment, awarded a CBE for services to dentistry in 2004 and the Colyer Gold Medal in 2012 for teaching, research and clinical excellence.

Professor Robert J Moots

Director, Liverpool Centre of Excellence for Behçet’s Syndrome, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Edge Hill University

Speaker's biography

Robert is a clinical academic rheumatologist. Qualifying in Medicine in London, he earned his PhD at Oxford, moved to Harvard to continue his research and returned to the UK to establish a new academic rheumatology group in Liverpool.


He recently moved his academic affiliation to Edge Hill University, the newest UK medical school in the UK, to help train doctors from less privileged backgrounds. Robert’s research focuses on inflammatory rheumatological and autoimmune diseases, from bench to bedside. He has published extensively and holds major national grants. His group is designated European Centre of Excellence for Rheumatology research. Robert advises the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, is Past Editor of Rheumatology and lectures extensively internationally on his work.


Clinical service is a crucial part of his role. Robert is Director of the Liverpool Centre of Excellence for Behçet’s syndrome, leading national trials evaluating optimal therapy for this condition, as well as caring for patients. He has extensive experience in managing hard-to-treat rheumatological diseases and in delivering therapy with both standard and targeted drugs. He also has a special interest in helping lead the development of rheumatology in Sub-Saharan Africa.


View the programme here


Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick, Patron, Behçet's UK


Professor Humphrey Scott, Dean, Royal Society of Medicine

Patient journey

Cat Ray

Backdrop to Behçet's challenge – historical context, overview of condition

Dr Rohan Deva Situnayake, Clinical Director, Behcet’s National Centre of Excellence, Birmingham

International perspective - including a summary of COVID-19 experience

Professor Dorian Haskard, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Rheumatology, Imperial College London and President, International Society for Behçet's Disease and
Professor Farida Fortune, Director London Behçet's Centre, BartsHealth, Queen Mary University of London

Patient journeys

Su Morris and David Kasdas

‘UK’ Response - Behçet's Centres of Excellence (NHS England) ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’

Professor Robert Moots, Clinical Director, Behcet’s National Centre of Excellence, Liverpool

Comfort break

Patient journeys

Rachel Humphreys and Ann Gough

Unmet need focussing on fatigue, pain, headaches: Q&A medical panel discussion

Including consideration on how to improve patient outcomes in Devolved Nations

Chair: Professor Robert Moots

 - Dr Rohan Deva Situnayake
 - Professor Farida Fortune
 - Professor Dorian Haskard
 - Dr Adnan Al-Araji, Consultant Neurologist, Royal Stoke University Hospital
 - Dr Clare Pain, Consultant in Paediatric Rheumatology, Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust
 - Dr Stephen Higgins, Principal Clinical Psychologist, ‎Barts Health NHS Trust
 - Dr Elisabeth Ball, Consultant Rheumatologist and Honorary Lecturer Queen’s University, Belfast
 - Tony Thornburn, Chair, Behçet's UK

Closing remarks
Close of meeting



Disclaimer: All views expressed in this webinar are of the speakers themselves and not of the RSM nor the speaker's organisations. 

Special rates for difficult times
The RSM wishes to offer healthcare professionals continued learning opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic. The RSM’s weekly COVID-19 Series webinars remain free of charge, while there will be small charges to register for other online education. These fees will enable the RSM to continue its programme of activities and will apply during the course of the pandemic.

Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar link 2 hours before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted.

All webinars will be available for registered delegates 30 days after on Zoom. The link will be sent 24 hours after the webinar takes place. 

This webinar will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels. 

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