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National Health Service History

Geoffrey Rivett

home inheritance1948-19571958-19671968-1977 1978-1987  1988-19971998-2007 2008-2017envoishort history London's hospitals

Professor Sir Liam Donaldson

  Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer
Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health from 1999, .  A public health physician by training, Sir Liam Donaldson (2002 New Years Honours List) was previously Regional Director, NHS Northern Region, and before that the Regional Medical Director of that region.

Liam Donaldson started his medical career in surgery and later trained in public health, holding senior posts in public health medicine and management. From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, he was Director of Public Health for Regional Health Authorities covering the North East and Yorkshire regions of the National Health Service.

From the early 1990s he combined the role of Director of Public Health with the post of Regional Director of one of the eight regional offices of the National Health Service Executive. His particular experience and interests have been in strategic management and planning, health policy, public health programmes, clinical governance, problems of poor professional practice and health services research. He has graduated from the universities of Bristol, Birmingham and Leicester and has been awarded honorary Doctorates by the Universities of Huddersfield, Bristol, Cranfield and Portsmouth. He also holds an honorary Chair of Applied Epidemiology in the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He is co-author of a standard textbook of public health and has published widely on health and health service research subjects.

In 1998, Liam Donaldson became the 15th Chief Medical Officer for England succeeding Sir Kenneth Calman.  In this role he is the Government's senior medical adviser. He has responsibilities for: policy development and implementation in improving the population's health (particularly reducing inequalities), protecting the public's health; and with the NHS leading on the implementation of clinical governance.

Since taking up the CMO post he has authored several major government reports some of which include: An organisation with a memory: report of an expert group on learning from adverse events in the NHS; Supporting Doctors, Protecting Patients; Stem Cell Research: Medical Progress with Responsibility; Building a safer NHS for patients, The Removal, Retention and Use of Human Organs and Tissue from Post-mortem Examination, and proposals for future specialist certification and revalidation of doctors.  His deep involvement with Modernising Medical Careers, a new system of medical specialist training, and the debacle in which some aspects of the system was involved, reduced his popularity among parts of the medical profession.

In the 2002 New Year Honours List, Liam Donaldson received a knighthood in recognition of his achievements in health and health care.







home inheritance1948-19571958-19671968-1977 1978-1987 1988-1997  1998-2007 2008-2017envoishort history London's hospitals



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