Observations BMJ Confidential

David Oliver: Pet hate—privatisation by stealth

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g6297 (Published 22 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6297


David Oliver is a geriatrician and former national clinical director for older people, who has little truck with the idea that most admissions of elderly people are preventable. It is “absolute La La Land to think we’re going to be in a position any time soon when older people don’t still keep piling through the doors of general hospitals,” he asserted in 2013, arguing that the challenge was to improve hospital care, not pretend that it can be avoided. He is president of the British Geriatrics Society, senior visiting fellow at the King’s Fund, and visiting professor at City University London.

What was your earliest ambition?

To pass the entrance exams for Manchester Grammar School and to get a season ticket for Maine Road.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Finbarr Martin, consultant geriatrician at St Thomas’ Hospital and professor of clinical gerontology at King’s College London; and John Young, who is consultant geriatrician and professor of geriatric medicine at Bradford Hospitals Trust, as well as being my successor as the national clinical director for older people (though his official title is …

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