03 September 2020

Top Leeds Rheumatologist Prof Philip Helliwell has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. Prof Helliwell is Professor of Clinical Rheumatology at the University of Leeds, and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals and Bradford Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust.

A BSR member since 1996, Professor Helliwell has made a huge contribution to the society, including:

  • Authoring and reviewing our clinical guidelines, including Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) and Foot Health in Inflammatory Arthritis

  • Authoring many papers we have published around PsA and foot and ankle

  • Convening our Spondyloarthritis fellowship

  • Convening our popular foot and ankle education course

  • A past member of BSR Council

We’d like to congratulate Philip for his award, his continued contribution to BSR and his ongoing achievements in rheumatology. You can read the rest of the RCPSG press release below:

Prof Helliwell developed and led a world-leading programme of rheumatic and musculoskeletal foot and ankle disease research. He established the first multidisciplinary research team building capacity in allied health scientists but in particular podiatry. He is credited solely with establishing the academic base for rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease podiatry in the UK.

Awarding the Honorary Fellowship, College President Prof Jackie Taylor said: “It was my privilege to be able to award Prof Helliwell this Honorary Fellowship on behalf of our College. His ground-breaking research around rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease podiatry has helped shape this discipline. He has proved himself to be an exceptional leader for podiatrists in the UK and beyond, and so as the only Royal College in the UK with a Faculty of Podiatric Medicine, we wanted to publicly acknowledge his achievements. It is an honour to have him associated with our College through this Honorary Fellowship.

Accepting the Honorary Fellowship, Prof Helliwell said: “I’m absolutely delighted and honoured to accept this Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. I'm especially pleased to be joining the Faculty of Podiatric Medicine. I’ve worked with podiatrists all my professional life and have seen the way podiatry contributes to improving the quality of life of many of my rheumatology patients. I look forward to supporting the profession from this privileged position and in particular with continuing professional development.”

Prof Helliwell completed his training in medicine at the University of Oxford and the Westminster Medical School London in 1972. He worked as a medical registrar and in general practice in England, Australia and New Zealand before joining the Royal Bath Hospital in Harrogate in 1985 as a rheumatology registrar. Between 1987 and 1993, he completed two doctorates at Oxford and Leeds and joined the world-renowned Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Research Unit.

Now based in the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, Prof Helliwell has contributed substantial knowledge and understanding of the clinical manifestations of psoriatic arthritis, classification criteria, outcome measurement, screening, and treatment strategies. He is also the co-founder and immediate past President of the Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis and co-founder of the FASTER group at the University of Leeds and co-founder for the Bradford Diploma in Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Medicine.