The ICENI Centre

About Us/Partnerships

When the laparoscopic revolution began in the UK in 1989 Colchester was one of a handful of hospitals that embraced the challenge that has completely altered abdominal surgery forever. Our first course on laparoscopic cholecystectomy was in 1992 and in the following years courses in laparoscopic bile duct exploration, groin and incisional hernia repair, anti-reflux surgery and colorectal surgery followed.

Our reputation for teaching and training grew over the following years attracting some of the best surgical trainees and fellows from the UK and abroad. The informal interactive style of teaching, the “Colchester way”, resulted in full courses further raising our profile as laparoscopic surgery became established as the preferred option for more and more conditions.

With the dawn of a new millennium Colchester was chosen to host the Association of Endoscopic (now Laparoscopic) Surgeons annual meeting, and did so again in 2008. The first purpose-built laparoscopic operating theatre in the UK was opened in 2005 and we established our identity as The ICENI Centre, but without a physical presence. Fortunately our activities in both teaching and research attracted the attention of Anglia Ruskin University, which resulted in a state of the art building for training, research and development. The new building was formally opened by the then Minister of Health, the Rt. Hon Andrew Lansley, in 2011.

With our new facilities comprising a lecture theatre linked to the operating theatres, seminar rooms, skills laboratory and a mock operating theatre we have expanded our courses into gynaecology, orthopaedics and urology. From 2014 we added cadaveric courses in Trans-anal Total Mesorectal Excision and Complex Abdominal Wall repair. More recently new courses on patient safety and human factors have been developed to address the non-technical skills that are so important for surgical teams and our annual Controversies Conference on Rectal Cancer in the autumn, is a fixture in the surgical calendar.

The year 2017 marked the Silver Jubilee of teaching laparoscopic surgery in Colchester, who knows what developments will have taken place by the time of our Golden Jubilee in 2042!

Roger W. Motson, MS, FRCS
Professor of Surgery
President of the ICENI Centre


Mr Adam Howard

Mr Adam Howard

Mr Matthew Tutton

Mr Matthew Tutton

Mr Barry Whitlow

Mr Barry Whitlow

Mr Greg Wynn

Mr Greg Wynn


Ningxia Hospital

Pictured third L/R – Melissa Dowdeswell, Matt Tutton, Professor Jin, Shane Gordon, Achuth Shenoy, Shaobin Wu

In October 2018 East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) and Ningxia Hospital in China signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties.  In May 2019, five key personnel from ESNEFT travelled to China to further develop relations. The visit was a great success with Ningxia Hospital keen to upskill their doctors through our ICENI Centre Fellowship Programme.

Shortly, nine Chinese health professionals specialising in histopathology (2), orthopaedics (4), GI (2) and colorectal (1) will be arriving in the UK to commence a twelve week clinical attachment post.  During their time at ESNEFT, the doctors will observe clinicians in their speciality on a day-to-day basis.  The aim is to help the doctors to familiarise themselves with the structure and function of the UK National Health Service (NHS), including governance structures, evidence-based medicine and multi-disciplinary team working.

On completion of the clinical attachment the doctors will return to China where they will take the IELTS examination and apply to the General Medical Council to work in the UK and join our two year fellowship programme.

In February 2020, it is planned to send a second wave of Consultants to Ningxia to include talks on potential research collaboration between the Trust and our partners in China and deliver a consultancy service in the field of pathology.

All doctors wishing to develop their clinical practice at ESNEFT can apply for either an ICENI Centre clinical attachment or the ICENI Centre fellowship programme.  More information can be found on the ‘fellowship’ tab on our home page. 

Jiangsu Province Hospital

Jiangsu Visit

The seeds of the ICENI Centre’s relationship with our current partners in China from Jiangsu province were planted more than 10 years ago when head of Essex International, Peter Manning, approached our clinical directors Professor Roger Motson and Tan Arulampalam, on behalf of Essex County Council.

The culmination of this 10 year partnership between the two institutions was a business trip in November 2018 to the Province that included East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) director of strategy, research and innovation, Shane Gordon, Tan Arulampalam and Peter Manning.  During the visit Shane Gordon, on behalf of ESNEFT, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Jiangsu Province Hospital (JPH). In March 2019, the JPH management will pay ESNEFT a visit to work out strategies to share best practice both in the UK and the Far East, including fellowship programmes.

Established in 1936 as the Affiliated Clinic of Jiangsu Medical College with mere 13 employees; through the course of over 90 years, Jiangsu Hospital as we know it now, takes pride in their impressive development of virtually all areas. In 2019, their number of employees surpassed 5,000 specialists with more than 3,000 beds for patients. That itself is almost a 385% growth rate!

Subscribe for updates on our courses
Subscribe to receive updates on the latest courses and online educational series available at the ICENI Centre
Remind Me Later
Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup Plugin