Lifestyle Medicine 2018
Science & Art of Healthy Longevity

23 Jun 2018 Edinburgh, UK

In 2018 our Conference was in the beautiful and accessible festival city of Edinburgh, in the shadow of the historic Edinburgh Castle. With great eateries, plenty of green spaces, famous museums and lots to see we made a long weekend of it and enjoyed some active relaxation!

Date & Time

23 June 2018 • 0900 to 1800 GMT


Central Hall
2 W Tollcross
Edinburgh EH3 9BP

The Speakers & Presentations

Garry Egger

Prof Garry Egger

Prof Garry Egger is known around the world as one of the pioneers of Lifestyle Medicine. He is a Professor of Health and Human Sciences at Southern Cross University and an Advisor to the World Health Organisation and several Government and corporate bodies in chronic disease prevention. He has qualifications in behavioural biology and epidemiology. He has worked in public, corporate and clinical health for over 4 decades. He is the author of 30 books (including five texts) over 160 peer-reviewed scientific and research articles and numerous popular media articles on health and fitness. In the 1990s Dr Egger initiated the GutBusters, men’s waist loss program, the first of its kind in the world. He started training programs for Fitness Leaders in Australia in 1982, was one of the initiators of the Australian Lifestyle Medicine Association (ALMA) in 2008 and runs training programs in Lifestyle Medicine for doctors and allied health professionals around Australia and the Pacific. He recently received an Australia Medal for his services to medical education and health promotion. His recent interests and publications concern the link between obesity, climate change and economic growth.

Presentation Title: Planet Obesity: Why the Environment shouldn’t be ignored in Lifestyle Medicine

Unlike infectious diseases, it is hard to attribute ‘causality’ to chronic disease. It is more appropriate to consider a hierarchy of ‘determinants’. When this is done it becomes clear that the distal determinants of chronic disease, particularly through their often obvious ‘marker’, obesity, are the broader social, political and economic environments in which we live. Obesity and climate change for example have similar roots in the economic successes that have facilitated material advancements in modern societies. Like climate change, obesity is merely ‘collateral damage in the battle for modernity’. As we (Boyd Swinburn and myself) state in the book ‘Planet Obesity’, it is a ‘canary in the coal mine’ signalling bigger problems in the broader society. Whether this, and related chronic diseases can be turned around with even greater increases in world population and affluence, or whether this is merely a ‘Ponzi’ scheme, is yet to be seen. In the meantime, Lifestyle Medicine would do well to include the distal drivers of both climate change and chronic diseases as well as individual behaviour, and shift towards correcting these, such as through returning to include economic ‘externalities’ to the corporate bottom line, to ensure health, well-being and economic growth do not become totally discordant.

Robert Thomas

Professor Robert Thomas is a practicing consultant, cancer specialist, with 30 year’s experience in patient care. After formal training at the Royal Marsden, National Hospital for Neurology, Royal Free and Middlesex Hospitals London, he now leads chemotherapy services at the Primrose Oncology & Research Unit, Bedford and treats patients with radiotherapy at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where he is also teaches Medical Students in his role of Senior Clinical Tutor, Cambridge University.

At Addenbrooke’s he lead the introduction of prostate brachytherapy and now manages patients with radiotherapy using conventional, conformal, intensity modulated (IMRT), image guided (IGRT) and tomotherapy techniques. His systemic medical practice is based at Bedford at the designated cancer (The Primrose Unit) and at The Manor Hospital Biddenham. Specialist interests include the care of patients with breast, prostate, bladder, kidney, Skin and bowel cancer using chemotherapy, hormone therapy and biological agents. He treats private patients with radiotherapy at he Genesis Health Care units at Milton Keynes and Elstree.

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Rob Lawson

Dr Rob Lawson

BSLM Trustee & Founder

Having qualified in Medicine in 1975, Rob has gained extensive experience as a GP in Scotland. His principal interests have been primary and secondary prevention of disease and the specialty of Lifestyle Medicine. As well as leading his NHS team to the highest awards for quality (2003-2013) he founded a charity in 1991 providing weekly activity and support in venues around East Lothian for sufferers of long term conditions including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, lung disease and frailty. He has retired from NHS practice to concentrate on the applications of Lifestyle Medicine to healthcare. In 2016 he co-founded BSLM, a registered charity, to promote the principles of Lifestyle Medicine to healthcare professionals and the public. On a personal note he is a cancer ‘survivor’. He can be contacted at

Laurence Stewart

Mr Laurence Stewart

BSLM Trustee & Treasurer

Mr Laurence Stewart graduated from Aberdeen University Medical School in 1982. He gained a wide experience across all surgical disciplines before training in Urology in Aberdeen and Belfast and subsequently specialising in female and reconstructive urology in Cardiff, Christchurch New Zealand and Duke University in North Carolina USA. He took up a post as Consultant Urological Surgeon in 1996 and has introduced a wide range of reconstructive treatments to Edinburgh, most recently establishing botulinum toxin (Botox) treatment for urinary incontinence.

He was a research fellow in Belfast for two years, studying bladder cancer, achieving his MD thesis in 1994. He has published widely on this and other urological topics. He has authored the chapter on Urological Surgery in Principles and Practice of Surgery and co-authored the chapter on Kidney and Genito-Urinary Disease in Davidson’s principles and practice of Medicine. He retains an active interest in training and is the convener of the Core skills in Urology course in the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. He is Chairman of the Science Committee of ICS.

He was the Lead clinician for Urology in Edinburgh from 1998 to 2007, during which time he helped establish minimal access surgery and promoted the role for laser prostatectomy and specialist physiotherapy in both male and female urinary incontinence.

Frances Elliott

Dr Elliot returned to NHS Fife as Medical Director in November 2014 having served as Deputy Chief Medical Officer in Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates for nearly 2 years. Dr Elliot trained in general practice and she was a partner in Methilhaven Practice from 1987-1998. She moved into medical management as Medical Director of Fife Healthcare NHS Trust in 1998 and became Interim Chief Executive of the Primary Care Trust from 2002-2004. Dr Elliot is currently in her second spell as the Board’s Medical Director having served in the role from 2004 to 2009 before leaving to become Chief Executive of NHS Quality Improvement Scotland, which later became Healthcare Improvement Scotland. Dr Elliot’s current executive lead responsibilities are for patient safety, clinical governance, primary care and information governance. Dr Elliot is also the Board’s Caldicott Guardian.

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Fraser Birrell

Dr Fraser Birrell

Dr Birrell is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer in the Institute of Cellular Medicine, and is part of the Musculoskeletal Research Group in Newcastle Biomedicine. Dr Birrell is part of the team looking at monitoring and measuring age-related musculoskeletal decline (WP2).

He has been pioneering Group Clinics, a form of Shared Medical Appointments, for 5 years and is academic lead of the UK SMA Contact Group.

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Jonquil Pinto

Ms Jonquil Pinto

I am a registered acupuncturist with the British Acupuncture Council and a PhD researcher at Southampton University. My research is in behaviour change techniques in the context of holistic approaches to health such as traditional Chinese medicine. I practise an integrated style of medicine using traditional Chinese approaches to healthcare informed by current evidence-based research.

My first degree was in cognitive psychology and during this time I also began to practise tai chi. This sparked my interest in traditional East Asian approaches to health and, as I studied this area more, I found the whole-person perspective to be incredibly illuminating. As much as I love cognitive psychology and using the mind to make positive personal change, once I had started to look at health through the holistic lens of Chinese medicine it became clear how useful it is to consider our body, emotions and mind as one system. From this perspective when you treat someone who is anxious or depressed you’re not only thinking about their mind, you also look at their muscles, their digestion and how much exercise they do. You might suggest regular walks or sea-swimming and offer a treatment which relaxes the body and calms the mind.

Gavin Routledge

Gavin Routledge

Gavin graduated as a Gold Medallist in 1991 and is now a Vice Patron of the British School of Osteopathy. Co-author of “The Back Book” with Gavin Hastings OBE in 1996, and author of “active X backs – and effective solution for lower back pain”; he has an MSc in The Clinical Management of Pain from the University of Edinburgh. He’s passionate about helping to move people as far from illness and pain as possible, and in January 2015 set himself the target of helping a million people get a better back.

Phil Sizer

I have pioneered an original approach to Self Management in a health setting for many years. I have gained unparalleled experience in this important field with 7000+ group sessions delivered throughout Scotland and Northern England. My speciality is Chronic Pain but this work is also valuable for all long term conditions. Most of my work is with patients in a community setting which varies from remote and rural to urban. I also deliver professional education to clinicians and work with them as a point of referral.

I currently run a network of community based groups and deliver intensive short courses. I am particularly keen on building a strong therapeutic relationship with people based on a natural open approach using story and metaphor to communicate in a credible and effective way that helps people to deal with change and improve their quality of life and well-being. In amongst this there is always room for humour and getting people to support each other.

The work I deliver is largely based on my practical experience of what works in a group setting and importantly, what doesn’t. My approach is broadly based on a Bio-Psycho-Social model of health which is informed by ideas from CBT, ACT, NLP, Philosophy, Positive Psychology, Relaxation, Hypnotherapy, Holistic health, Motivational interviewing and Coaching. I also write original material that communicates complex ideas simply and effectively.

Alison Manson

Alison Manson
Diabetes Educator
Health Policy Professional

Alisons’ career in healthcare began in nursing over 35 years ago where her passion for person centred care was born. Her next venture took her into the world of commerce where she developed the skills and tools to support meaningful and sustainable change, as well as gaining valuable experience in the introduction and scaling up of new healthcare innovations.

Over the last 4 years she has worked tirelessly in the development and delivery of the UK based group consultations model. This work has involved collaboration with patients, national and international thought leaders and resulted in the current learning and development support model. To date Alison and her team have worked with over 400 organisations to train, coach and support teams to develop and deliver care in this way.

She passionately believes that Group Consultations (shared medical appointments) are a ‘real game changer’ for the NHS - patients, clinicians and the system!

She is currently working in collaboration with the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine (BSLM) to spread and scale up group consultations throughout the UK.

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Yasmin Ohlsson

Dr Yasmin Ohlsson
General Practitioner
BSLM Trustee & Education Group

Yasmin is a UK-trained GP who recently moved back from Abu Dhabi where she worked with individuals and the community to raise awareness of lifestyle related conditions. A representative of the European Lifestyle Medicine Organization, she is actively involved in promoting Lifestyle Medicine among clinicians and the public.

As a trained coach and a member of the International Coach Federation, she uses coaching to create lasting lifestyle change and also works with healthcare professionals and teams, helping them manage the challenges and pressures that a career in health brings.

She is involved in international medical education and believes that educating and empowering the next generation of doctors on the science and value of Lifestyle Medicine is a key element in combating the growing global burden of chronic disease.

Yasmin also writes on health and wellness related topics for print and online media.

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