|Sir Liam Donaldson
MD ChB FRCS(Ed) FRCP FRCP(Ed) FMedSci FRCA
|Chief Medical Officer for England|
1 January 1998 – 31 May 2010
|Preceded by||Sir Kenneth Calman|
|Succeeded by||Dame Sally Davies|
|Chair of the World Alliance for Patient Safety|
|Chancellor of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne|
1 August 2009
|Preceded by||Lord Patten of Barnes|
3 May 1949 |
|Alma mater||University of Bristol
|Profession||Physician and Surgeon|
Sir Liam Joseph Donaldson (born 3 May 1949, Middlesbrough, England, UK) was the Chief Medical Officer for England, the 15th occupant of the post since it was established in 1855. As such he was principal advisor to the United Kingdom Government on health matters and one of the most senior officials in the National Health Service (NHS).
It was announced in December 2009 that Sir Liam planned to retire from the post of Chief Medical Officer in May 2010, although he said that, if the influenza pandemic should unexpectedly worsen, he would have postponed his retirement.
Donaldson was appointed as Chief Medical Officer in 1998. Between 1994 and 1998 he was Regional Director for the NHS Region of Northern and Yorkshire, and prior to that Regional Medical Officer and Regional Director of Public Health for the Northern Regional Health Authority. He began his career as a surgeon before training in public health.
Academic and other posts
Donaldson is Visiting Professor in the University of Leicester's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, and also holds an honorary Chair of Applied Epidemiology at Newcastle University. On 1 August 2009 Donaldson became Chancellor of Newcastle University, replacing Lord Patten, who stood down after 10 years in office.
As a result of his reports as Chief Medical Officer, Donaldson has had a marked effect on policy and legislation in a wide range of areas including stem cell research, quality and safety of health care, infectious disease control, patient empowerment, clinical performance, temperance legislation, medical regulation, and organ and tissue retention.
Modernising Medical Careers
Sir Liam was involved in devising the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) system and the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS). This has been very controversial since its inception, with officials from the DH proclaiming success although it has been outrightly rejected by a large group of trainees and consultants. It champions competence rather than excellence and substantially reduces the length of the training programme required to become a consultant. In an unprecedented demonstration against this system, around 12,000 junior doctors marched against MMC and the associated MTAS in March 2007. Subsequently, Professor Alan Crockard the National Director of MMC resigned stating that the project had 'lacked clear leadership from the top for a very long time'. His colleague Professor Shelley Heard has also resigned. The BMA and senior doctors have called repeatedly for his resignation in this matter.
Sir Liam angered civil liberties campaigners, GPs, and the BMA's spokesman for IT in December 2006 by recommending that GPs should forward letters from patients, requesting that personal medical data not be uploaded to the Spine centralized NHS database, to Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt
Britain's drinking problem
In March 2009, in order to combat what he referred to as the country's drinking problem or 'passive drinking', Donaldson recommended setting a minimum price per unit of alcohol at 50p and tightening licensing laws. Despite Prime Minister Gordon Brown's opposition to the move, Donaldson said he would continue to push his case, just as he had with the successful ban on smoking in public places.
Liam Donaldson is co-author of a standard text book of public health, a history of the Chief Medical Officer of England and over 130 papers in peer review journals. He has also written a foreword for a book on clinical audit.
In his role as Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam has produced a number of major reports, including:
- Supporting doctors, protecting patients (1999)
- Stem cell research: Medical progress with responsibility (2000)
- An organisation with a memory (2000)
- The expert patient: a new approach to chronic disease management for the 21st century (2001)
- The removal, retention and use of human organs and tissue from post-mortem examination (2001)
- Getting ahead of the curve: a strategy for combating infectious diseases (2002)
- At least five a week: Evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health (2004)
- Good doctors, safer patients: Proposals to strengthen the system to assure and improve the performance of doctors and to protect the safety of patients (2006)
- Safety first (2006)
- Bearing good witness: Proposals for reforming the delivery of medical expert evidence in family law cases (2007)
Donaldson has degrees from:
- the University of Bristol (MB ChB, 1972), where he attended Wills Hall,
- the University of Birmingham, and
- the University of Leicester (MD, 1981), and he was also a Lecturer in the Department of Community Health, and subsequently Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology for four years.
He has also been awarded honorary Doctorates by:
- Huddersfield University (honorary DSc, 1998),
- the University of Bristol (honorary MD, 1999),
- the University of Leicester,
- Cranfield University (2000),
- the University of Portsmouth,
- the University of East Anglia (honorary ScD, 2003),
- the University of Teesside (honorary DSc, 2004),
- the University of York (2004),
- the University of Nottingham (honorary DM, 2005),
- De Montfort University (honorary DSc, 2005),
- the University of Sunderland (honorary DSc, 2006), and
- the University of Hull (honorary DSc, 2006).
Donaldson is also:
- a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FRCS(Ed)),
- a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine (FFPHM),
- a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP),
- a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (FRCP(Ed)),
- a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci), and
- a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA).
Other honours include:
- the post of Queen's Honorary Physician during the mid-1990s,
- the College Medal by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, awarded in June 2000,
- Bradshaw Lecture, Royal College of Physicians, 2002
- a knighthood in the New Year Honours in 2002,
- the Picker Award for Excellence, in recognition of his achievements in the field of patient-centred care and patient safety, and
- the World Health Executive Forum Distinguished Leader Award.
|Chief Medical Officer for Her Majesty's Government
Lord Patten of Barnes
|Chancellor of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne
- Department of Health press release 15 December 2009.. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
- Carry on Doctor from the Birmingham Magazine, September 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
- National Professor Sir Liam Donaldson from National Health Service History.. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
- "Professor Sir Liam Donaldson (MBChB 1972, Honorary MD 1999)". University of Bristol. 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
- Hooke, Rachel (2007-04-07). "15 minutes with... The chief medical officer". BMJ Career Focus (BMJ Publishing Group) 335: gp58. ISSN 1752-8526. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
- "Sir Liam Donaldson to be Newcastle University Chancellor". The Journal. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
- World Alliance for Patient Safety webpage retrieved on 16 April 2008
- Sir Liam Donaldson from Department of Health.. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
- Junior Doctors Protest Over Jobs BBC news
- Professor Crockard's letter of resignation
- Smith, Rebecca (9 August 2007). "Sir Liam Donaldson must resign, says BMA". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "Junior doctors". The Times (London). 28 May 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- GPs angered by call to reveal names of NHS database rebels The Guardian | 2 December 2006
- Anger at CMO's request to forward opt-out coupons e-Health Insider | 1 December 2006
- 'Passive drinking' is blighting the nation, Sir Liam Donaldson warns, from Telegraph.co.uk on 16 March 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
- Donaldson, Liam; Donaldson, R J (2000). Essential Public Health. Radcliffe. ISBN 1-900603-87-X.
- Donaldson, Liam; Gray, Denis Pereira (2005). The Nation's Doctor. Radcliffe. ISBN 1-84619-001-0.
- Ghosh, Robert, ed. (2009). Clinical Audit for Doctors. Nottingham: Developmedica. ISBN 978-1-906839-01-7.
- Supporting doctors, protecting patients (1999), Department of Health website
- Stem cell research: Medical progress with responsibility (2000), Department of Health website
- An organisation with a memory (2000), Department of Health website
- The expert patient: a new approach to chronic disease management for the 21st century (2001), Department of Health website
- The removal, retention and use of human organs and tissue from post-mortem examination (2001), Department of Health website
- Getting ahead of the curve: a strategy for combating infectious diseases (2002), Department of Health website
- At least five a week: Evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health (2004), Department of Health website
- Good doctors, safer patients: Proposals to strengthen the system to assure and improve the performance of doctors and to protect the safety of patients (2006), Department of Health website
- Safety first' (2006), Department of Health website
- Bearing good witness: Proposals for reforming the delivery of medical expert evidence in family law cases (2007), Department of Health website
- University of Bristol notable medical and dental alumni and Wills Hall Association biography, both retrieved 16 April 2008
- University of Birmingham list of famous alumni retrieved on 16 April 2008
- University of Leicester press release retrieved on 16 April 2008
- University of Huddersfield list of honorary graduates. Retrieved 16 April 2008.
- University of Bristol list of honorary graduates. Retrieved 16 April 2008.
- University of Leicester article. Retrieved 16 April 2008.
- Cranfield University list of honorary graduates retrieved on 16 April 2008
- University of East Anglia list of honorary graduates. Retrieved 16 April 2008.
- University of Teesside directory of honorary graduates. Retrieved 16 April 2008.
- University of York press release retrieved on 16 April 2008
- University of Nottingham list of honorary graduates. Retrieved 16 April 2008.[dead link]
- De Montfort University article retrieved on 16 April 2008
- University of Sunderland listing of honorary graduates. Retrieved 16 April 2008.
- University of Hull press release retrieved on 16 April 2008
- London Gazette 6 September 2002 reporting the conferment of the knighthood by the Prince of Wales on behalf of the Queen
- Article from World Health Organisation. Retrieved 16 April 2008.