Mr Rob Bethune


MA(hons), MBBS(hons), MSc, FRCS

GMC number: 6029131

Practising since: 2001


General Surgery

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Rob Bethune is a Colo-Rectal Consultant Surgeon at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and a senior lecturer in Healthcare Leadership at Exeter Medical School. He is primarily a laparoscopic surgeon dealing with the surgical side of inflammatory bowel disease. He also manages hernias (laparoscopic and open), haemorrhoids and other peri-anal problems.

He has had a significant role in improving the delivery of health care services. After spending a year as a surgeon in a rural mission hospital in Zambia he took time out of his surgical training to work as a manager at the South West Strategic Health Authority. During this year he worked on a 17 hospital safety collaborative improving the standards of peri-operative care. He continues this role with the South West Academic Health Science Network as the clinical lead for the new safety collaborative.

He is also involved in developing the non-technical skills (human factors) of trainee surgeons as well as his colleagues; after publishing his master’s thesis on pre-operative briefings and debriefings. He was on the UK Department of Health Human Factors steering group. He has published widely on patient safety, human factors and quality improvement.

Special interests

  • Laparoscopic Bowel Surgery
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Laparoscopy hernias
  • Peri-anal fistula
  • Peri-anal fissure

Personal interests

Golf, running and sailing

Treatments and tests offered by Mr Rob Bethune at Nuffield Health

  • Open surgery groin hernia repair
  • Umbilical hernia repair
  • Ileal pouch anal anastomosis
  • Hernia repair
  • Gluten sensitivity screening
  • Colonoscopy
  • Laparoscopic groin hernia repair
  • Colorectal surgery
  • Diagnostic endoscopy
  • MRI scan
  • Haematology profiles
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Bilateral (inguinal) hernia repair
  • Hernia unilateral
  • Anterior resection

Locations Mr Rob Bethune works with

Related experience


Rob Bethune has conducted research and published widely studying the safety of surgical theatres, improving health care quality and the impact of surgery on the elderly.

Abbreviated publications:

Book chapters:

  • Bethune R, Blazeby J. Quality Improvement. Oxford Textbook of the Fundamentals of Surgery. Editors Thomas WEG, Wyatt M, Reed M. Awaiting publication
  • Bethune R, Francis, N. The Human Factor in Minimal Access Surgical Training: How Conscientious, Well-Trained Surgeons Make Mistakes. Training in Minimal Access Surgery. Published by Springer 2015 ISBN 978-1-4471-6494-4

Original Articles:

  • Bethune R, Francis N. Techniques aren’t everything: Why conscientious well-trained surgeons make mistakes?  Tech Coloproctol. 2015 Sep;19(9):503-4
  • Bethune R, Arulamalam. What Happens when we don’t operate?  Colorectal Dis. 2015 Apr;17(4):279-80
  • Bethune R, Soo E, Woodhead P, Van Hamel C, Watson J. Engaging all doctors in continuous quality improvement: a structured, supported programme for first-year doctors across a training deanery in England. BMJ Qual Saf. 2013 Aug;22(8):613-7
  • Coltart CE, Cheung R, Ardolino A, Bray B, Rocos B, Bailey A, Bethune R, et al. Leadership development for early career doctors. Lancet. 2012 May 12;379(9828):1847-9


  • Royal College of Surgeons
  • Association of Colo-Proctology of Great Britain and Ireland

Other posts held

  • Consultant Surgeon at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Insurers Mr Rob Bethune works with

Mr Rob Bethune works with the following private medical insurance providers:

  • Aviva Health
  • AXA - Global Healthcare
  • AXA Health
  • Benenden Health
  • Bupa
  • Bupa On Demand
  • Cigna
  • CS Healthcare
  • ESMI
  • Freedom Health
  • Health-on-Line
  • HealthFund
  • InterGlobal
  • Medical Care Direct
  • PHC
  • SecureHealth
  • Simplyhealth
  • Universal Provident
  • Vitality Health (Pru Health)
  • Westfield Health WPA


Mr Rob Bethune does not hold a share or financial interest in this hospital, another Nuffield Health hospital or the company.

Mr Rob Bethune does not have a share or financial interest in equipment used at this hospital or another Nuffield Health hospital.

Mr Rob Bethune does not hold any paid advisory role(s) at this hospital or on behalf of Nuffield Health.