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Trustee Board


Bernard Chang, President

Bernie Chang is President of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.  He is a Consultant Ophthalmologist with a special interest in Oculoplastics, Lacrimal and Orbital Surgery in Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Arriving in the UK for his secondary education in 1986, Bernie attended medical school in Bristol before embarking on a career in ophthalmology in the South-West of England. He went on to registrar training in Yorkshire and Fellowship training in Dublin before appointed consultant in 2003.

He has been a serving College officer in a number of roles in the last 16 years, from a regional representative for Yorkshire, Honorary Secretary, Vice President and Chair of the Professional Standards Committee; also chairing the College’s External Reviews Committee and a subsection editor for the Eye journal for over four years.

Bernie’s clinical experience includes serving as expert advisor (devices) for MHRA, BOPSS (British Oculoplastics Surgery Society) committee and the BMA Ophthalmic Group Committee; past member of the Training Interface Group on Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery and continues with links with Malaysia (Visiting Professor of Ophthalmology in UNIMAS) and Trinidad.

Gordon Cropper


Gordon Cropper is a solicitor and has spent more than thirty years in the courts’ service as a justices’ clerk and a justices’ chief executive in London. Since 2004 he has been an adjudicator on traffic penalties with what is now London Tribunals. He has undertaken a number of voluntary roles, notably as a member, and chair, of the Independent Monitoring Board of HM Prison, Pentonville. He was also a trustee of a mental health charity and of the Association of Members of Independent Monitoring Boards. He is a firm believer in the representation of lay people in medical institutions. For five years he was a member of the Lay Advisory Committee of the Royal College of Pathologists, and from 2009 to 2015 a member of the Lay Advisory Group of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. A member of the MCC, he is a keen cricket follower.

Mohamed Elalfy


Mohamed is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Queen Victoria Hospital and Eye Bank NHS Trust, and Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospital NHS Trust. His main interests are Cornea, Cataract, Ocular Surface and Refractive Surgery.

He is active in research holding both Masters and Doctoral degrees in Ophthalmology. He worked previously as a Clinical Assistant Professor in Ophthalmology in The University of Nottingham. He has more than 30 peer reviewed publications. He supervises Masters and Doctoral degrees. Mohamed is a Clinical Researcher/Lecturer in The Research Institute of Ophthalmology in Cairo, Egypt.

Mohamed teaches and trains fellows in UK and overseas. He is regularly invited to international meetings to give talks and courses. He is the current Fellowship Director in Corneoplastic Unit, Queen Victoria Hospital. He travels overseas to deliver lectures and live surgery.

Mohamed is a current College Council member as the Regional College Representative for South East Thames

Declan Flanagan

After completing his training in Southampton and Moorfields, Declan went on take up a consultant post in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge and Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon in 1984. Here he established a comprehensive medical retinal service and was appointed as Medical Director of Hinchingbrooke Hospital from 2001 to 2004.

In 2004 Mr Flanagan joined the Medical Retinal Service of Moorfields Eye Hospital, where he became Deputy Medical Director in 2007 and then Medical Director in 2010. Declan retired from the post of Medical Director in 2018 but remains in active NHS and private medical retinal practice.

His current management responsibilities include Clinical Quality & Safety in Moorfields Private, Chairman of the Joint Research Governance Committee between Moorfields and the Institute of Ophthalmology in UCL as well as overseeing Clinical Quality and consultant recruitment in Moorfields in the United Arab Emirates.

At the end of his 9 years as Medical Director Moorfields was rated Good overall and Outstanding for clinical effectiveness by the Care Quality Commission.

In May 2019 he was appointed to the post of Vice President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists with specific responsibility for policy, communications with membership and the NHS as well as ophthalmic workforce development.

Mohit Gupta

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Mohit Gupta is working as a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Clinical Director at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS trust. His special interest is Glaucoma. He has over 40 publications in Peer Review journals. He is also actively involved with the Clinical services development and strategy in his trust.

His association with the college includes two terms as Regional Representative for Trent. He also sits on the Professional standards and Scientific committees of the college. He has recently been elected the Honorary Secretary of the college and chairs the Equality Diversity and Inclusion committee of the college. He has also represented the College on the Clinical council for Eye Health commissioning.

Phillip Hunt© Roy Peters Tel: 0121 449 7613 roy@roypeters.co.uk NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988. Credit is required. No part of this photo to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted by any means without permission. Lord Hunt has been a member of the House of Lords since 1997. He is currently Shadow Deputy Leader of the House. He also speaks for the Opposition on Health, Cabinet Office and Lords reform. He was Deputy Leader of the House of Lords and Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change from 2008-2010 and also served as a Minister in the Department of Health, Department of Work and Pensions, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Justice.

He was the first Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, and previously Director of the National Association of Health Authorities and Trusts (NAHAT) from its formation in 1990. Phillip Hunt was made a Privy Counsellor in 2009. Lord Hunt holds Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Aston, Birmingham and Birmingham City and was awarded the OBE in June 1993.

Varo Kirthi


Varo Kirthi (known as Kirthi) is a Specialty Registrar in Ophthalmology in KSS/South Thames and Chair of the Ophthalmologists in Training Group (OTG).

Having previously been Deputy Chair, Kirthi has represented the OTG on several College committees, including the Training Committee. In his current role, Kirthi chairs a very active group of 20 registrars who represent the interests of trainees in all aspects of College business. On behalf of the OTG, Kirthi sits on the RCOphth Council and Trustee Board.

Kirthi also brings experience from his previous role as Clinical Fellow to the President of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), as part of the NHS Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow Scheme. During this year, he lead on national RCP guidance for better ward round practice, co-authored NICE guidelines on intravenous fluid therapy and explored the need for generalists in hospital medicine.

Kirthi is currently based at King’s College Hospital in London, undertaking a PhD as part of out-of-programme research.

Brian Smith


Brian Smith is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants.  After studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, his early career was in manufacturing industry. He subsequently spent over 20 years in life insurance, working, inter alia, for Aviva and Legal and General. He then became Finance Director of a pensions company which became independent from the Alexander Forbes Group following a management buyout. His particular interests lie in management information and business planning.

Brian lives near Colchester and is a member of the Audit Committee of the Diocese of Chelmsford and Treasurer of the Deanery of Witham in the Church of England.

Melanie Hingorani
Chair Professional Standards
Melanie is a consultant ophthalmologist specialising in paediatric ophthalmology at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. She has a particular interest in disorders of the front of the eye in children and also in clinical governance, safety and clinical leadership in ophthalmic care.

She was Clinical Director for Quality and Safety at Moorfields for six years and is now their Clinical Director for External Engagement and Policy.  She founded and chairs the UK Ophthalmology Alliance, with more than 95 hospital eye unit members across the UK working together to drive service transformation nationally and provide practical support to regions and hospitals to improve care. Melanie is Chair of Professional Standards at The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and sits on the Clinical Council for Eye Health.​

Melanie Corbett
Chair of Education

Melanie Corbett is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at The Western Eye Hospital, Imperial NHS Trust.  She specialises in Cornea, Ocular Surface and Anterior Segment surgery.  Her MD thesis was on corneal wound healing, she published a book on corneal topography and has over 70 scientific publications.  She is a Past President of the Medical Contact Lens and Ocular Surface Association.

Melanie is Chair of Education at The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, and was Lead Training Programme Director for North Thames.  She is responsible for the curriculum design and implementation of the OCCCF Multiprofessional Training Programme.  She has lead Training the Trainers for 10 years, rolling out programmes in the UK, Africa and the Far East.