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Wednesday 1st May 2024

Medically Unexplained Symptoms

Invitation to a Multidisciplinary Conference Addressing the Challenges of Medically Unexplained Symptoms (CPD applied for)

Royal Foundation of St Katherine (RFSK)

London E14 8DS (by DLR Limehouse)

Join us in person or online

What is this all about?

We invite you to a ground-breaking conference aimed at tackling the challenges posed by individuals experiencing chronic medically unexplained symptoms (MUS), persistent physical symptoms, or those diagnosed with a somatic disorder. These issues represent a significant burden for patients, healthcare professionals and society. Those affected often experience cycles of endless tests, referrals, and treatments that typically fail to provide a resolution. Money and resources are wasted, and some experience a deterioration in their mental wellbeing.


Who is behind this event?

Organised in collaboration with Dr Jay Verma and Jeshni Amblum-Almer, the current and immediate past presidents of the Royal Society of Medicine GP and Primary Care Section, and Dr Adrian Tookman (former clinical director, Marie Curie), chair of the ‘Forgotten Patients, Overlooked Diseases’ charity. This event promises a day filled with insightful discussions led by expert speakers.

Conference overview

Our venue is the amazing RFSK, an oasis of calm in East London.

The conference is designed to be an affordable, one-day inclusive educational experience. By uniting a diverse group, our goal is to shed light on this largely neglected and under-researched field, addressing the frustrations of healthcare providers and the feelings of neglect experienced by patients within the healthcare system.

Join us as we explore this critical topic from various perspectives and seek actionable solutions to improve the care of individuals affected by MUS. Together, we can pave the way to greater understanding and more effective management. Don't miss this opportunity to contribute to how these challenges are addressed within the healthcare community.


There is an online option, but being there and contributing is best!


  1. Raise awareness, generate comprehensive discussions, and enhance understanding about the multifaceted challenges and consequences of MUS.

  2. Advocating for a collaborative, multidisciplinary strategy in diagnosis and care through the exchange of knowledge and innovative practices among healthcare professionals across different fields.

  3. Improve the management of MUS, foster empathy and motivate the healthcare community to implement more effective approaches in managing MUS.

  4. Minimise the reliance on an endless cycle of tests and referrals, thereby enhancing patient care and outcomes.

Learning outcomes

  1. Grasp the complex nature of MUS and its impact on both patients and the healthcare framework.

  2. Gain insight into and apply multidisciplinary methods for the effective care of MUS, integrating medical, psychological, and patient advocacy perspectives.

  3. Utilise evidence-based practices in patient care to minimize unnecessary diagnostics and enhance outcomes.

  4. Promote and support systemic improvements within healthcare settings for better management of MUS, highlighting the importance of patient-centred care, policy evolution, and continuous professional development.

Who should attend

Our multidisciplinary conference invites healthcare professionals, including GPs, hospital consultants, senior medical staff, nurses, pharmacists, allied health workers, and trainees, health service managers along with patient representatives, media, researchers, and charity members, to collaboratively explore the management of MUS.


Pre conference faculty meeting and dinner: Tuesday, 30th April 2024, 19:00-22:30

Conference: Wednesday, 1st May 2024

  • Registration and coffee: 09:00-09:30

  • Sessions: 09:30-16:30

  • Reception: 17:00-18:30



09:30-09:45 - Exploring the importance and complexity of MUS, typical symptoms, and patient journeys

Dr Jay Verma (President of the General Practice and Primary Care Section, Royal Society of Medicine [RSM]; GP Partner, Shakespeare Health Centre, Hayes, West London)

Jeshni Amblum-Almer (Past President, GP Section, RSM; Course Director, Belmatt Healthcare Training, London)

Dr Adrian Tookman (Chair, Forgotten Patients, Overlooked Diseases charity [FPOD])


1. THE PROBLEM WITH MUS (Chaired by Jeshni Amblum-Almer)

09:45-10:00: The patient's experiences.

Christianne Forrest and Katia Chrysostomou (Patient representatives, FPOD)


10:00-10:15: The doctors experiences of MUS

Dr Jay Verma (RSM)


10:15-10:30: MUS in A&E - is the picture different from primary care?

Dr Jon Matthews (A&E Consultant, St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London)


10:30-10:50: KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Where does the consultation go wrong?

Prof Graham Easton (Professor of Clinical Communication, Academic GP and Broadcaster, Queen Mary University, London)


10:50-11:10: Discussion


11:10-11:25: Coffee break

2. EXPLORING SOLUTIONS (Chaired by Dr Jay Verma)

11:25-11:40: Ethical considerations in MUS and equity of access; what needs to change? 

Chantal Patel (Head of interprofessional studies, Swansea University)

Dr Kiran Jani (Trustees, UK Clinical Ethics Network)

11:40-11:55: Importance of clinicians exploring doubt with MUS

Dr Adrian Tookman (FPOD)

11:55-12:10: ‘But, Is it all in the mind’ – views of a specialist psychiatrist

Dr Muj Husain (Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist and Co-Clinical Director, Persistent Physical Symptom Unit, South London and Maudsley Hospital, London)

12:10 -12:25: Is genetic testing the answer? Should everyone with MUS undergo genetic testing?

Prof. Julian Barwell (Clinical Geneticist, Academic Champion and Honorary Professor in Cancer studies, Department of Genetics and Genome Biology at the university of Leicester)

12:25-12:40: AI and MUS – Dr GPT will see you now

Dr Keith Grimes (GP and AI in healthcare expert; founder and consultant, Curistica Ltd)

12:40-13:00: Panel Discussion.


3. LEARNING FROM OTHERS (chaired by Dr Adrian Tookman)

13:45- 14:05: Good medicine has much to offer – Practical tips for individuals, families, and HCPs

Dr Jay Verma (RSM) and others

14:05-14:45Current support and research in the UK and EU.

Prof. Chris Burton (Professor of Primary Medical Care, School of Medicine & Population health, University of Sheffield)

Dr Steven Walker (Trustee and Secretary FPOD; Director, St Gilesmedical London & Berlin)

14:45-15:00: TEA BREAK, visit to the stands and networking

15:00-16:15: Supportive therapies, innovative approaches and thinking out of the box

Dr Minha Rajput-Ray (Integrated medicine physician, Curaidh Clinic, Dundee, Scotland)

Dr Francis Kynaston-Pearson (Consultant rheumatologist, Nottingham and Derby)

Dr Sanjay Gupta (Consultant Cardiologist, York Teaching Hospitals)

Lou Evans (Rapid response physiotherapist, Derbyshire Community NHS Foundation Trust)

Nigel Penny (Director, Centre for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy, Birmingham; Associate Professor, Coventry University)

16:15-16:30: Panel discussion, summary, and future directions

16:30-17:00: Summary and close

17:00-18:30 - DRINKS RECEPTION

Dr Jay Verma is a GP partner at Shakespeare Health Centre in West London, and president of the General Practice and Primary Care section at the Royal Society of Medicine (GP section RSM) . After qualifying from the university of Aberdeen, jay achieved a MSc in Stem Cells and a Postgraduate Degree in Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Jeshni Amblum-Almer was the immediate past president GP section RSM. Jeshni originally trained as nurse in South Africa. After moving to the UK in 1999 where she was among the first independent nurse prescribers. Jeshni has lectured in interprofessional learning at St George Medical School and at Kingston, City and Heartfordshire universities. Jeshni is CEO/ founder of Belmatt Healthcare Training

Dr Adrian Tookman is a recently retired physician whose previous roles include being Clinical Director for the charity Marie Curie, Medical Director at the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust (RFH), and Consultant Palliative Physician at The Marie Curie Hospice in London and the RFH. Currently, he is chair of the Forgotten Patients, Overlooked diseases charity


Christianne Forrest is a patient advocate from Swansea, South Wales. She is a cancer survivor with a chronic health condition


Katia Chrysostomou is a performance coach providing support to the medical communication community. She is based in London


Dr Jon Mathews is an A & E consultant at St Marys Hospital, Paddington. He trained in London and was made a fellow in Urgent and Emergency Care Systems Transformation for Hertfordshire and West Essex. He spent in the USA and was awarded an MBA with distinction from Greater Manchester Institute of Management.

Professor Graham Easton is an Honorary Professor of Clinical Communication Skills at Queen Mary University of London. Graham is an academic GP and broadcaster with extensive experience in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. He has expertise in clinical communication skills (internationally & UK), with a track record in Faculty development, education research and medical journalism.

Chantel Patel & Dr Kiran Jani are both members of the Institute of Medical Ethics. Chantel is Head of Interprofessional Skills at Swansea University. Kiran is a retired consultant anaesthetist and a member of the Board of Trustees, UK clinical Ethics Network. 

Dr Muj Husain is a consultant Psychiatrist with the Persistent Physical symptoms Service. He is also Consultant in Liaison Psychiatry at King's College Hospital where his work includes supporting medical teams on the wards and helping people in crisis in the A & E. Muj studied medicine at the University of Cambridge and trained in Psychiatry on the Maudsley Training Programme in South London. He is a graduate of the NHS Medical Director Clinical Fellow Scheme where he spent a year working with the GMC.

Dr Will Evans is a GP and a GPwSI in clinical Genetics with the Yorkshire regional genetic service and with the primary care stratified Medicine group. He is also NIHR GP career Progression fellow, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham. Will graduated from university of Leeds in 2002, gaining MRCS in 2007 and qualifying as a GP with MRCGP in 2010. He completed a PG certificate in Education in Primary Care with merit from the University of Leeds in 2013, and an MSc in Genomic Medicine with distinction from the University of Manchester in 2018. Will is trustee of the NPUK rare diseases charity.

Dr Keith Grimes is a digital Health Specialist, Clinical Product Manager, experienced GP, global speaker, NHS & governmental advisor, and recognised thought leader. Using AI and Digital Health technology to meet the growing gap between demand and supply of healthcare globally, he has successfully led clinicians and product teams to deliver world-class, data-driven products at Babylon such as Symptom Checker, Monitor, and Health IQ

Dr Steven Walker is a trustee and secretary of the Forgotten Patients, Overlooked diseases charity. He is director of St Gilesmedical, a medical communications company in London and Berlin. He is academically active with interest in research and teaching.  

Dr Minha Rajput-Ray, is an experienced integrative medicine physician at the Curaihd in Dundee, Scotland, where she specialises in pain and chronic health management. She is a patient herself with complicated health issues.

Dr Francis John Benedict Kynaston-Pearson is a consultant rheumatologist in Nottingham. Francis specialises in the diagnosis and chronic pain management of rheumatological conditions. In addition, he is an expert in the treatment of rheumatological associated joint disorders, such as hypermobility. Francis qualified from the university of Leicester. His post graduate training commenced in Oxford before a period in Brisbane, Australia. On his return, Francis trained at the QE and Birmingham City Hospitals. He undertook his specialist training in Nottingham, Derby, and Lincoln, qualifying in both rheumatology and General Internal Medicine.

Dr Sanjay Gupta is a consultant cardiologist at York Teaching Hospitals. He has a special interest in cardiac imaging. Sanjay leads a multidisciplinary team supporting patients with medically unexplained symptoms.

Lou Evans is a Rapid Response Physiotherapist at the Derbyshire Community Health Service NHS Foundation Trust with a special interest in chronic pain management and Fibromyalgia.

Nigel Penny is an associate professor and head of Health and Life Science at Coventry University. He is director of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine in Birmingham. 

Additional information

Venue address:

RFSK, 2 Butcher Row, London E14 8DD

Tel +44 (0)300 111 1147


Travel and parking:

The RFSK is conveniently located 200m from the DLR Limehouse station (West exist, across the road, through gate and past café). Rail: C2C Limehouse Rail Station. Buses:15,115,135 and D3.

There is limited parking on site.


We have reserved a limited number of low-cost double and single rooms with breakfast. Please contact RFSK or the organisers (below).

Further information/contact:

Dr Adrian Tookman, Chair, Forgotten Patients, Overlooked Diseases Charity (FPOD Registration 1202442) +44 7714 932834​

Dr Steven Walker, Trustee & Secretary +44 7553 377871

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