Mr John Watkinson


John Watkinson is one of the UK's most experienced ENT Surgeons with considerable experience in treating a wide range of Ear, Nose & Throat conditions. He has a special interest in Head & Neck and Thyroid and Parathyroid surgery (including minimally invasive techniques).


He qualified from the Royal Free Hospital, University of London in 1979, and trained in ENT, Head and Neck and Plastic Surgery at Guys Hospital and The Royal Marsden. He has Fellowships in General Surgery and Otolaryngology together with an MSc in Nuclear Medicine and MS in Surgery. He is an elected member (by thesis) of the American Triological Society, as well as the American Head & Neck Society. He held visiting professorships at both Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and Duke in Carolina, USA before completing his training with a further Plastics Fellowship at Canniesburn Hospital, Glasgow.

Current Employment

Consultant ENT/Head & Neck and Thyroid Surgeon
Coventry and Warwick University Hospital NHS Trust

Consultant ENT/Head & Neck and Thyroid Surgeon
The Priory Hospital, Birmingham, the Spire Parkway Hospital, Solihull

Business Director of the Endocrine MDT and Consultant ENT/Head & Neck and Thyroid Surgeon
the BUPA Cromwell Hospital, London 2014 to date

Honorary ENT/Head & Neck and Thyroid Consultant Surgeon
Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), London 2016 to date

Honorary Senior Anatomy Demonstrator
UCL London 2016 to date

Achievements, Research & Publications

He has a large UK thyroid clinical and research practice, has helped orchestrate or supervise over 40 Higher Degrees and in 1998 was Hospital Surgical Doctor of the Year. He has published on all aspects of Head & Neck and Thyroid surgery; organised the Birmingham Head and Neck course (1997-2006) and is Chief Editor of Stell and Maran. He edited the Plastic Surgery section of the last edition of Scott Brown, and is now its Chief Editor. He is Chief Editor of Tips & Tricks in Endocrine Surgery (published 2013) and has edited the latest edition of the Neck Section of Gray’s Anatomy. He was President of the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists (BAHNO; 2009-2011), President of British Association of Endocrine and Thyroid Surgeons (BAETS; 2011-2013), and was the first ENT surgeon to hold that honour.

He was President of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) Laryngology Section (2014-2015), and is now Chair of the Semon Committee (UCL). He has been involved in a number of National guidelines including NICE, BTA, BAHNO, DAHNO and ENT-UK, and was awarded a Hunterian Professorship in 2009 from The Royal College of Surgeons of England. From 2003 – 2010 he was an examiner for the Part III FRCS-ORL Exit Exam. He was awarded the Jobson Horne Prize (2015) by the BMA for his lifetime contribution to medicine in ENT and was appointed by Tessa Jowell to serve on ARSAC (Administration of Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee) for the Government (1994 – 2002). John is a member of the NCIN and NICR national committees.

Distinguished Lectures & Outside Interests

John has given a number of eponymous lectures, which include the Stell memorial lecture (2005), John Palmer (Toronto 2007), the Leegard lecture (2009), Hunterian (2009), the Wilde Discourse (2011), RSM Presidential Address (2014) and the Thomas Tatum Lecture (2016). In 1994, together with Adrian Drake-Lee, Dr Hilary Jones, the late Roy Castle and Peter Scudamore he co-founded The Get A-Head Charitable Trust ( He is married with two children, enjoys travelling, watching all sports, fishing and fine wine!


  • 1998 – Clinical Director. ENT – University Hospital Birmingham 1999
  • 1999-2002 – Group Director (ENT/Maxillofacial/Plastic) UHB – appointed by Mark Britnell
  • Surgery/Dermatology/Ophthalmology/Anaesthetics/Short Surgery University Hospital Birmingham
  • 2004 – to 2016 – Deputy Director for Cancer Services UHB
  • Endocrine UHB Trust Lead (2002- 2015)
  • Birmingham Network Thyroid Lead (2005 - 2015)
  • Business Director at Cromwell Endocrine MDT 2014 to date

Charity Work

Together with Mr. Adrian Drake-Lee, the late Roy Castle and Peter Scudamore, together with the Warwickshire Cricketers I helped found the ‘Get-A-Head’ Charitable Trust which to date has raised over eight million pounds and has helped fund the purchase of vital equipment, research and education. Further information can be obtained at



George Davey Howells Prize. UL 2018 (Scott-Brown’s Textbook of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Eighth Edition)
Jobson Horne BMA ENT Award - 2016
George Davey Howells Prize – UL 2014 (Stell & Maran)
BMA Book of the Year – Scott Brown ENT 2009
George Davey Howells Prize – London University. Scott Brown’s Head and Neck Surgery 2007/8
George Davey Howells Prize – London University. Stell & Maran’s Head and Neck Surgery 2000
Hospital Doctor of the Year Award (Surgery Section) 1998-99
British Nuclear Medicine Society Travelling Fellow 1991
Ethicon Travelling Fellow 1991 – Royal College of Surgeons of Glasgow
Regent Travelling Fellow 1991 – Royal College of Surgeons of England
1st Prize 'Whisky Quiz' Canniesburn Flap Course April 1991
Travelling Fellow 1991 Association of Head and Neck Surgeons
ORS Award 1991
Runner-up Hamilton Bailey Prize 1991
Amersham Award for Radiopharmaceutical Research 1989
Best Paper Oncology Section British Nuclear Medicine Society 1989
British Nuclear Medicine Society Award 1987 – Third prize best paper section
Guy's Hospital Special Trustees Award 1987
Florence Stoney Postgraduate Prize 1987
Charlotte Brown Postgraduate Prize 1987
Gunner Nillson Award 1987
University of London Research Fund Award 1987
Sportsman Aid Society Award 1986


During my time at University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust my research interests were multidisciplinary working with Dr Margaret Eggo, Professor Michael Sheppard and Professor Jayne Franklin (both endocrinologists) after establishing a normal human thyroid cell line. Initial research focused on growth factors in benign thyroid disease (see relevant publications). In the latter part of my career, moving onto research investigating the Pituitary Tumour Transferring Gene (PTTG) as well as PBF in thyroid cancer with Professor Dae Kim and Professor Chris McCabe. During this time, I was able to supervise over thirty high degrees of which at least half were MDs and PhDs.

Currently, I am supervising two MD projects in London under the supervision of Professor Dae Kim. These are looking at circulating DNA in differentiated thyroid cancer and also minimally invasive techniques in parathyroid surgery. We have also carried out a meta-analysis and systemic review on the outcomes for hemi v total thyroidectomy for differentiated thyroid cancer and I am now part of the hot trial (hemi v total) looking into this. I have also recently examined an MD for Mr James England as a prima facie case for his publications on all aspects of thyroid disease within the University of Hull.

I have also been working with Professor Dae Kim and Professor Kevin Harrington in the INCR labs at The Royal Marsden where we looked at the treatment (utilising an orthotopic mouse model) of thyroid cancer using immune therapy techniques. In the near future we will be publishing the results of these research projects in a number of papers during 2019.