Striking the Balance

Striking the balance is hosted by the Women in ICM subcommittee but is an event for everyone. This event has an excellent line up of talks and workshops covering a wide range of subjects, relating to the human side of intensive care medicine. We have speakers on 'Sexual Harassment in medicine" "returning to work" and "self growth". The event will provide an excellent basis to learn and think about some challenging areas which affect our working lives.

13 days left

Key details

Date: 20 October 2022 I 09:15-16:45

Location: London, Churchill House

Availability: Places available

Clinical content lead(s): Dr Liz Thomas, Dr Sarah Marsh, Dr Cath Roberts, Dr Aoife Quinn, Dr Nish Desai and Dr Christine Watson

CPD credits: 5

The day aims to highlight some of the less discussed and human sides of Intensive Care Medicine, whilst also providing nurture and inspiration to the attendees.

Key topics include self growth, sexual harassment, returning to work after absence with workshops covering work life balance, coaching and learning from experience.

Previous Striking the Balance events have had excellent feedback and attendees have benefitted from development of areas not normally covered in educational events.


Striking the Balance
09.15-09.30 Registration and Refreshments  
09:30-09:35 Welcome and introduction Dr Sarah Marsh
09:35-10:00 Women in Intensive Care  Dr Liz Thomas
10:00-10:25 Sexual Harassment Dr Chelcie Jewitt
10:25-10:35 Discussion/Q&A session   
10:35-10:50 Refreshments  
10:50-11:15 Women in Surgery     Ms Emma Collins
11:15-11:40 Returning to work   Dr Victoria McCormack
11:40-12:05  Recognise and Taking Opportunities Professor Barbara Philips
12:05-12:15 Discussion/Q&A session
12:15-13:15 Lunch
13:15-15:15 Rotational workshops – Attendees to choose 2 workshops to attend.     
  Workshop 1:      Work life balance. Could flexible working help you achieve this? Dr Rifca Le Dieu
  Workshop 2:     Coaching Dr Penny Newman
  Workshop 3:     Learning from Experience Dr David Selwyn
15:15-15:30 Refreshments
15:30-15:40 NIHR Awards Presentation  Dr Daniele Bryden
15:40-16:10 ‘Making a Difference’ award  
  Re-building the Team at Oldham  Helen Torry & Dr Laura Coleman
  Employee of the Month Scheme Mrs Kym Vigus
  North West Refugee and Asylum Seeker Medical Support Worker Programme Dr Rachel Saunders
16:10-16:35 Self-preservation; a core competency   Dr Penny Newman
16:35-16:45 Discussion/Q&A session  
16:45 Close



FICM Members/Fellows:
Early bird discount:
Full price:
Member/Fellow £164 £205
Nurse/Trainee/ACCP/Pharmacist Member £124 £155
Senior Fellow £82 £102.50
Non Member:
£204 £255

Speaker Biographies

Professor Barbara Philips
Professor of Intensive Care Medicine

Professor Barbara Philips was appointed to Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at Brighton and Sussex Medical School in 2021. She was an undergraduate at King’s College Hospital qualifying in 1988. She started her anaesthesia training in KCH in 1989 but moved to Edinburgh in 1991. It was there that she developed a passion for intensive care medicine and research and was given the opportunity of completing an MD(res). Her first consultant post was as a clinical academic at St George’s University London in 1999. Her research interests are acute kidney injury and pharmacology of critical illness prescribing.

Title: Recognise and Taking Opportunities

Learning Outcomes: Professor Barbara Philips will be addressing expectations and anxieties which limit trainees (and in particular women’s) options and ambitions.

Ms Emma Collins
Consultant Endocrine Surgeon; TPD for Core Surgical Training in Yorkshire & Humber

Emma graduated from University of Nottingham in 2001. After maternity leave at the end of ST4 she became the first LTFT surgical trainee in the East Midlands. She developed an interest in Endocrine Surgery undertaking a fellowship in Sheffield in 2015 and a post CCT fellowship at St James’s Hospital in Leeds the following year. She was appointed as Consultant Endocrine Surgeon in Leeds in 2018. Emma performs thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal surgery including laparoscopic posterior adrenalectomy.

Emma was RCS College tutor between 2020 -2022 until she became Training Programme Director for CST in Yorkshire and Humber in March 2022.

Title: Women in Surgery

Dr Rifca Le Dieu
Clinical Reader and Honorary Consultant in Haemato-Oncology

Rifca Le Dieu is an Honorary Consultant at Barts Health NHS Trust where she has an outpatient lymphoma practice. She also has a teaching role as a Clinical Reader in Haemato-Oncology at Barts Cancer Institute, QMUL where she is the module organiser for 2 undergraduate biomedical science modules and is the Cancer Theme Lead for the MBBS programme. As part of her passionate advocacy of flexible working for medical staff in the NHS, Rifca is also the Barts Health Champion of Flexible Working, sits on the AoMRC Flexible Careers Committee, Royal College of Physicians Flexibility and Wellbeing Committee and is a member of the NHS Flexible Working Reference Group. She has recently been appointed as the RCP Clinical Advisor on Flexible Working. Rifca has worked part-time herself since 2010 for purposes of childcare.

Title: Work-life balance. Could flexible working help you achieve this? (Workshop)

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand how working patterns are changing in the medical workforce
  • Tips on how to successfully implement flexible working in your department
  • One way to improve your own work-life balance
Dr Victoria McCormack
Consultant in Anaesthesia and ICM

Victoria is a proud Scot living in England. Graduating from the University of St Andrews in 2000, medical training completed at the University of Manchester, 2003. Anaesthetic training began in 2005 after having been seduced by the calm demeaner and inclusivity of the anaesthetists she met in the North West. LTFT from 2010, a decision after her second child to enter ICM training as a senior reg ensured 17 years as a trainee. Fortunately, this also allowed a 3-year stint on the GAT committee, latterly as Vice-Chair. Now a Critical Care and Anaesthetic Consultant in MFT, she has a wellbeing role as a result of her work on Coffee and A Gas, LTFT issues, return to work, fatigue and wellbeing in our specialities. The pull of the Association led her to seek and gain re-election to the Board in 2021. She looks after her own wellbeing by following a plant-based lifestyle, enjoying friends and family and binge watching the West Wing. 

Title: Returning to Work

Learning Outcomes:

  • My experiences/what I’ve learned
  • Output from working party/ national improvement work
  • Some practical tips
  • Signposting
Dr Penny Newman
Founder of haelancoaching

Penny is a former GP, Medical, Public Health and Organisational Development (OD) Director and NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) Fellow, intent on transforming patient and staff experience at individual, organisation and system level.  In her last role as OD Director, Penny led new programmes for culture change, education and occupational health and wellbeing for 17,000 staff and three merging hospitals during the Covid pandemic, and her work on new models of primary care catalysed the Five Year forward View.  She has designed and run leadership development programmes for doctors at the Kings Fund, NHS Leadership Academy and FMLM, holds a Masters and Diploma in coaching, coaches Executive and senior clinical leaders and introduced health coaching for behaviour change across the NHS.  Her initiative and reports on gender equality, working with UN Women, led to 50:50 representation on hospital Boards.  She founded healancoaching in 2021 to offer holistic coaching to doctors, health and care staff and their systems.  

Title: Coaching (Workshop)

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the difference between coaching, mentoring and counselling
  • Learn a coaching model and effective management tool
  • Explore how and when coaching could be useful


Title: Self-preservation; a core competency

Learning Outcomes:

  • Consider internal and external resilience mechanisms
  • Know your drivers
  • Understand limits and burnout
  • Make your own strategy explicit


Dr David Selwyn
Consultant in Adult Critical Care

David was appointed as the inaugural Director of the Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC) in May 2019 and tasked with establishing and developing CPOC as a truly cross-organisational, multidisciplinary initiative hosted by the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA), facilitating cross-organisational working on perioperative care for patient benefit. Following a successful first term delivering against CPOC’s initial strategic aims, he has been re-appointed by the CPOC Board for a further 3 years in 2022 and is looking forward to driving true transformational change for the perioperative patient journey.

He remains an active clinician, dealing with the competing demands of anaesthesia and adult critical care and this remains his ‘home team’. 

Prior to becoming Director of CPOC, David was the Chairman of the RCoA Clinical Directors’ Network, a national network of medical leaders in anaesthesia, intensive care and pain management.  He continues to sit on College Council and is also a representative on several the major Royal College quality, safety and professional standards committees and lectures locally, regionally and nationally on medical leadership.

David was appointed as Deputy Chief Executive of Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2022, which is an additional role to his Executive Medical Director appointment, where he is committed to raising the clinical voice across the Trust and wider Integrated Healthcare system. He is also the Trust’s Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO).

He joined Sherwood in 2019 as Deputy Medical Director on a secondment from Nottingham University Hospitals where he was the Deputy Medical Director for 2 ½ years.

Before beginning his leadership journey, David was a Regional Advisor for 8 years, an inaugural Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) Training Programme Director (TPD) and a Faculty Tutor.

Title: Learning from Experience (Workshop)

Learning Outcomes:

  • Facilitated conversation around the value of a leadership career
  • The personal impact of medical leadership, coping with disappointment
  • Top tips, what I wish someone had told me
Dr Chelcie Jewitt
ST3 Emergency Medicine

Chelcie Jewitt is an ST3 in Emergency Medicine, based in the Merseyside region. Since graduating from the University of Liverpool in 2015, she spent several years exploring career options as she was frequently told to avoid EM and find "a more suitable [family friendly] career". During this time, she became more aware of the insidious culture of sexism and misogyny in healthcare and over the past few years has funnelled her frustration into highlighting and defining the issue, with a report published by the BMA in 2021 entitled "Sexism in Medicine". Her current passion project is Surviving in Scrubs a website where healthcare professionals can anonymously submit their experiences, creating a collective narrative of the issues occurring not only in medicine, but throughout the whole of healthcare. 

Title: Sexual Harassment 

Learning Outcomes:

  • An understanding of how rife sexism and misogyny is within healthcare
  • The impact it has on the working environment
  • How are female workers protected from these behaviours 

Making a Difference Award

The submission window has now closed. Thank you to everyone who has applied. 

The last two years have been undeniably hard for all in healthcare, but, out of unprecedented challenge, creativity has flourished. The WICM Making a Difference award celebrates initiatives which have improved the working lives and health and wellbeing of healthcare professionals. 

We invite you to submit a short abstract describing your initiative and the impact it has had on staff in your workplace. Submissions are welcome from healthcare professionals of all grades and specialties. They will be judged according to the level and reach of the impact, taking into account the grade of the submitter. The top 3 will be invited to present at the Striking the Balance Conference on the 20th October.

Submissions are welcome from all healthcare professionals with an interest in Intensive Care Medicine. 

Closing date 26th August
Applicants informed of decision week commencing 5th September

Abstract-max 500 words. Describe the innovation and the impact it has had on staff.
Top 3 chosen to give a 10 minute presentation at the StB conference.

Submissions judged on:

  • The uniqueness of the idea
  • Evidence of the impact in staff provided
  • Reach ie. How many staff members / groups of staff members did it impact
  • Transferability – could it be replicated in other departments.


Send your submissions to