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Health – Doctor’s Policy Research Group

Doctors’ Policy Research Group is a medically-led health policy research unit attached to the independent Westminster think tank Civitas. Its members are reform-minded and motivated by a desire to increase quality and choice in the NHS while strengthening equity.


Through the Looking Glass and What the Doctor Found There
Dr Hilarie Williams and Dr Christoph Lees, February 2015

The General Medical Council: Fit to Practise?
Dr Hilarie Williams, Dr Christoph Lees, and Magnus Boyd, July 2014

Medical Failings Amongst Medical Managers
Dr Mark Slack, January 2014

Media digest and personal view
Dr Mark Slack and Dr Christoph Lees, September 2013

Can the political promise of integrated care be delivered on-budget in a time of rising demand?
Dr Michelle Tempest, September 2013

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Articles for the Media

Fitness-to-practise investigations make sick doctors sicker
Dr Christoph Lees & Dr Hilarie Williams, Pulse, January 2015

Medical regulation: more reforms are needed (BMJ)
Dr Christoph Lees, September 2014

Is Britain's NHS in A&E? (Voice of Russia UK)
Dr Christoph Lees, November 2013

Costing the NHS (BBC Radio 4)
Dr Christoph Lees, September 2013

About Us

Doctors’ Policy Research Group is the first and only UK think tank led by doctors. Formerly known as Doctors Think Tank, it pooled resources and expertise with Civitas in June 2013 with the aim of contributing to public debate about the provision of NHS services. It is not a union and – like Civitas – has no allegiance to any political party.

Its members wish to encourage a vigorous discussion about the future of the UK’s healthcare, and how it can be provided to the very highest standards, while always ensuring comprehensive provision remains free at the point of need and with the patient’s interest the foremost consideration at all times.

The group’s work pre-dating its association with Civitas can be found at its own website here.

Founding Members

Dr Christoph Lees

Christoph is an NHS Consultant in Obstetrics and Fetal-Maternal Medicine. He has a longstanding interest in health policy and funding reform having sat on the Civitas Health Policy Consensus Group in 2002.

He was one of the founding members of Doctors for Reform in 2003 where notable campaigns included a letter from 1,000 doctors urging the then Prime Minister to rethink the UK’s purely tax-based health funding, and raising funds to support judicial review of the position of some strategic health authorities on cancer co-payments. He has been involved in the funding debate with politicians from all parties in the UK and overseas.

He is also a clinical researcher who has published more than 100 papers in fetal-maternal medicine and has a visiting Chair at The University of Leuven, Belgium. Christoph supervises higher degrees and directs a subspecialty training programme, having been the Royal College of Obstetricians’ first Ultrasound Training Officer (2009-2012).

Dr Mark Slack

Mark is currently head of Urogynaecology at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, University of Cambridge Teaching Hospitals Trust, Cambridge. He is also a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

He was appointed the Ethicon travelling Professor in 2004 as well as the Sims Black Professorship of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for 2005/6. In 2006 he was awarded a travelling Professorship to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

He is a reviewer for the British Medical Journal, the British journal of O&G, Neurology and Urodynamics, the International Urogynaecology Journal and The Journal of Rehabilitation and Research.

Mark qualified in Johannesburg at the University of the Witwatersrand. He then completed his postgraduate training at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur hospital. He graduated from the College of Medicine of South Africa winning the Daubenton Gold Medal as the most successful candidate for the Fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Magnus Boyd

Magnus, a partner at the media law firm PSB Law, is a solicitor who has developed a niche practice in protecting medical reputations from the media and the General Medical Council. He specializes in protecting the privacy and reputations of surgeons, doctors, NHS Trusts and their Chief Executives and others in the medical sphere.

Magnus is the approved solicitor for the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. He is also a member of the steering committee on a British Medical Association study investigating the psychological and physical impact of complaints processes on doctors.

Dr Michelle Tempest

Michelle has expertise in medicine, psychiatry, psychotherapy, business, and law. She works in an acute NHS hospital, runs her own private talking therapy clinic (Your Space To Talk) and at Candesic (a boutique healthcare consultancy). She advises private and public sectors, government organisations and NHS England.

Dr Paul Charlson

Paul has worked as a GP in Yorkshire. He is a Portfolio Doctor, a GPwSI (GP with Special Interest) in Dermatology, a Cosmetic Doctor, a Quality Assurance (QA) tutor with the Yorkshire Deanery, a Local Medical Director at Quayside Open Access Centre, the Chair of Conservative Health and an RCGP Clinical Commissioning Champion. His interests include healthcare policy, service development and innovation.