An independent review of diversity in the College’s professional leadership, led by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, a distinguished barrister and member of the House of Lords, reports that “an old boy’s network” was still shutting out too many women, and too often denying progress to those from ethnic minorities.

The report found that surgery is an "alpha male" environment which has too often allowed homophobia, racism and sexism to thrive, the head of a landmark review has warned.

Professor Neil Mortensen, the President at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, welcomes the recommendations. He acknowledges that the fundamental culture within surgery has to change. He has “committed to bring diversity to the heart of the college”.