Professor Thomas Pinkney MBChB, MD, MMedEd, FRCS

Professor Thomas Pinkney

Institute of Applied Health Research
George Drexler & Royal College of Surgeons Chair of Surgical Trials
Honorary Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon

Contact details

Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit
Public Health Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
The impact of wound-edge protection devices on surgical site infection (ROSSINI Trial)

Thomas Pinkney received his Medical Degree from the University of Birmingham in 2000. He was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Surgery in 2012 and awarded an honorary consultant appointment at the University Hospitals Birmingham at the same time.  In 2019 he was appointed as George Drexler and Royal College of Surgeons Chair of Surgical Trials at the University of Birmingham

Professor Pinkney is Director of the Birmingham Surgical Trials Consortium (BiSTC) and the Birmingham Centre for Observational and Prospective Studies (BiCOPS).  He is also Chair of the Cohort Studies Committee and Vice-Chair of the Research Committee of the European Society of Coloproctology.

Tom's research interests are predominantly in clinical and translational research in inflammatory bowel disease and surgical site infection. As a founding member of the West Midlands Research Collaborative, he maintains an interest in development of trainee-led clinical trials in surgery. He sits on the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) CET Board and the NIHR RfPB West Midlands Panel.


  • MD, University of Birmingham, 2017
  • MMedEd, University of Warwick, 2011
  • FRCS, Royal College of Surgeons, 2010
  • MBChB, University Of Birmingham, 2000


  • Fixed undergraduate (clinical) tutorial sessions each week and teaches students during his outpatient, endoscopy and theatre sessions
  • Lectures medical students, as well as providing small group teaching sessions
  • Surgical lead, 5th year MBChB programme
  • Runs regular clinical research methodology training days for West Midlands core and higher surgical trainees
  • Academic Training Programme Director, Health Education England (West Midlands)
  • Clinical Academic Training Committee Lead, Surgery

Postgraduate supervision

  • Daniel Osei-Bardom, Academic Clinical Fellow (2018-2021)
  • Elizabeth Li, Clinical Research Fellow (PhD) (2017-2020)
  • Yashawi Sinha, Academic Clinical Fellow (2017-2020)
  • James Glasbey, Academic Clinical Fellow (2016-2019)
  • Muhammad Atif, Academic Clinical Fellow (2015-2018)
  • Dmitri Nepogodiev, Academic Clinical Fellow (2014-2017)


  • Birmingham Surgical Trials Consortium

Tom is Director of Birmingham Surgical Trials Consortium (BiSTC). The BiSTC is funded by the Royal College of Surgeons of England to develop new surgical clinical trials, widening participation in trials and train the trialists of the future.

  • Birmingham Centre for Observational and Prospective Studies 

This new unit was established in 2019 and Tom co-leads it with Dr Laura Magill. Birmingham Centre for Observational and Prospective Studies (BiCOPS) aims to provide centralised guidance and practical support to groups of researchers coming together to undertake non-randomised prospective research, including large scale national and international clinical snapshot audits and cohort studies.

  • Clinical Research - Grants

In the past 10 years Tom has been awarded £4.35M as the chief investigator of 5 major NIHR portfolio surgical projects to benefit patients through improved surgical care; 4 are multicentre RCTs and one for the development of a surgical device. He is also a co-applicant on 13 further grants totalling £11.2M.

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Tom’s specialist clinical interest is in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). He was Chief Investigator of the NIHR Research for Public Benefit (RfPB) funded ACCURE-UK feasibility trial. This has been followed more recently with the NIHR EME-funded ACCURE-UK 2 trial, which is the UK arm of an international RCT being conducted alongside colleagues at Academisch Medisch Centrum, Amsterdam. ACCURE-UK 2 is exploring the clinical effectiveness of therapeutic appendicectomy to reduce disease activity in Ulcerative Colitis.  

In addition to this clinical research, Tom also sits on the Inflammatory Bowel Disease sub-committee of the Association of Coloproctology of GB&I (ACPGBI) and the National Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Advisory Group of the Royal College of Surgeons & ACPGBI. He has been an invited clinician stakeholder in a variety of clinical guideline update groups, both in the UK and Europe.

  • Surgical Site Infection (SSI)

He was the Chief Investigator of the ROSSINI (Reduction of Surgical Site Infection using a Novel Intervention, 2008-13) trial. ROSSINI randomised 760 patients across 21 sites and explored the clinical efficacy of a wound-edge protection device in the reduction of SSI. The results were published in the British Medical Journal. Following this, Tom has had two other major SSI trials funded, SUNRRISE (senior applicant) and ROSSINI2 (chief applicant). ROSSINI 2 is the first multi-arm, multi-stage (MAMS) interventional trial funded in surgery and will recruit over 6,600 patients. He is a co-applicant on the FALCON and CHEETAH trials (both global), as well as Bluebelle and PPAC-2. Tom sit on the NICE Guidelines Committee for SSI.

  • International research networks

Tom is a member of the European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP) Research Committee and Chair of the ESCP Cohort Studies Subcommittee. He has led the ESCP international snapshot audits in 2015, 2016 and 2017 – together these collected outcomes data from over 11,000 individual patients  undergoing operations in over 350 surgical units across 49 countries.

  • NIHR Portfolio trials

Tom is the Clinical Research Co-Lead for division 6 and the surgical Clinical Research Speciality Lead (CRSL) for the NIHR CRN West Midlands, promoting and facilitating the involvement of surgeons across the region in clinical portfolio trials. He chairs two NIHR trial steering committees (TSCs), sits on four other TSCs and two data monitoring committees.

  • Trainee-centric research collaboratives

Research collaboratives: After helping found the West Midlands Research Collaborative, Tom has have spoken and published extensively on the collaborative research model, and helped many new collaboratives to establish in multiple specialities at all levels, in the UK and overseas.

Other activities

National positions:

  • Board member, NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Clinical Trials and Evaluations Board
  • Member, Inflammatory Bowel Disease sub-committee, Association of Coloproctology of GB&I (ACPGBI) 
  • Member, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Advisory Group, Royal College of Surgeons and Association of Coloproctology of GB&I (ACPGBI)
  • Member, NIHR National Surgical Speciality Group
  • Member, National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Colorectal Cancer Clinical Studies Group 
  • Member, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Surgical Site Infection Guidelines committee
  • Member, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Medical Technologies Advisory Committee (MTAC) 
  • Member, National Wound Care Strategy Programme (NWCSP) - Research workstream and Surgical workstream 
  • Associate Editor, Colorectal Disease journal
  • Board member & co-founder, National Wounds Research Network (WreN)
  • Member, Cochrane Wounds Clinical Prioritisation Team

Regional / Local:

  • Director, Birmingham Surgical Research Consortium (BiSTC)
  • Director, Birmingham Centre for Observational and Prospective Studies (BiCOPS)
  • Clinical Research Lead [CRL], Division 6 - NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) West Midlands
  • Clinical Research Specialty Lead [CRSL] for General Surgery - Clinical Research Network (CRN) West Midlands - overseeing sub-speciality leads across all 14 surgical specialities
  • Academic Training Programme Director [TPD], School of Surgery; Health Education England (West Midlands)
  • Surgical lead, Clinical Academic Training Committee, Health Education England (West Midlands)
  • Senior advisor, West Midlands Research Collaborative


Selected publications

National Institute for Health Research Global Research Health Unit on Global Surgery. Delphi prioritization and development of global surgery guidelines for the prevention of surgical-site infection. Br J Surg. 2020 Mar 24. doi: 10.1002/bjs.11530.

Beard DJ, Campbell MK, Blazeby JM, Carr AJ, Weijer C, Cuthbertson BH, Pinkney T, et al. Considerations and methods for placebo controls in surgical trials (ASPIRE guidelines). Lancet. 2020 Mar 7;395(10226):828-838.  

Reinforcement of Closure of Stoma Site (ROCSS) Collaborative and West Midlands Research Collaborative (Co-chair; Executive Writing Group). Prophylactic biological mesh reinforcement versus standard closure of stoma site (ROCSS): a multicentre, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2020 Feb 8;395(10222):417-426. 

Pinkney TD, Calvert M, Bartlett DC, Gheorghe A, Redman V, Dowswell G, Hawkins W,  et al;  West Midlands Research Collaborative; ROSSINI Trial Investigators. Impact of wound edge protection devices on surgical site infection after laparotomy: multicentre randomised controlled trial (ROSSINI Trial). British Medical Journal 2013 Jul 31;347:f4305 

2017 European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP) collaborating group (Chair; Executive Writing Group).  An international multicentre prospective audit of elective rectal cancer surgery; operative approach versus outcome, including transanal total mesorectal excision (TaTME). Colorectal Dis. 2018 Sep;20 Suppl 6:33-46  

Pinkney TD, Morton DG. Novel approaches to surgical trials and the assessment of new surgical technologies. British Journal of Surgery 2015 Jan;102(2):e10-1. 

Bhangu A, Kolias AG, Pinkney T, Hall NJ, Fitzgerald JE. Surgical research collaboratives in the UK. Lancet 382 (9898), 1091-1092. 

View all publications in research portal