Views & Reviews Past Caring

A man who called hospitals to account

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 18 October 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:828
  1. Wendy Moore, freelance writer and author, London
  1. wendymoore{at}

    Sir Derek Wanless is not the first banker to call health services to account with his hard hitting criticism of productivity and efficiency. Predating the former NatWest chief executive by more than a century, the unsung pioneer of modern hospital management Sir Henry Burdett (1847-1920) started out as a humble clerk behind a desk at Midland Bank in Birmingham.

    The son of a vicar who harboured ambitions to become a doctor, the young Burdett had to abandon his altruistic aims at 17 when his father's death put paid to …

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