Hugh Phillips

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 04 August 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:354

An innovator in orthopaedics and a president of the Royal College of Surgeons

Hugh Phillips combined the skill for exceptionally complex surgery with a talent for promoting British orthopaedics. In his early years as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in the 1970s and 1980s, he became an acclaimed specialist in joint arthroplasty, and devised a cementless hip known as the Norwich hip. As his career progressed and as patients' replacement joints needed updating—in some cases as many as three or four times—Hugh developed expertise in the increasingly intricate art of revision joint surgery.

Meanwhile, from the late 1980s onwards, he began to emerge as a leader and to speak up for orthopaedic surgery, rising through his involvement with various committees and professional bodies to become, in 2004, president of the Royal College of Surgeons. He died in office.

Hugh Phillips was born in 1940 in south London. His earliest memories were of doodle bugs and air raid shelters. He was the youngest of three children, born into a …

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