Intended for healthcare professionals


Rosamund Snow

BMJ 2017; 346 doi: (Published 16 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;346:j850
  1. David Payne
  1. London
  1. davidrpayne{at}

Researcher and campaigner for patients’ involvement in healthcare

On her first day as The BMJ’s patient editor in 2014, Rosamund Snow disclosed that a favourite pastime of hers was watching classic episodes of Coronation Street. Early storylines in the long running ITV soap were a particular draw, she said, especially rows between Ena Sharples, the street’s self-appointed moral guardian, and Elsie Tanner, the middle aged single mother looking for the elusive Mr Right. Snow admired Elsie’s spirited struggles to gain understanding and respect, and her resilience in the face of censorious neighbours who lazily stereotyped her.

Placing patients centre stage

It is tempting to speculate that she may have drawn parallels between Elsie’s battle for recognition and a similar one waged by patients. Like Elsie they are often misunderstood, marginalised, and excluded from conversations. Snow fought to place patients centre stage in debates about service quality improvement and medical education.

Hers was a truly portfolio career, which at the time of her death at the age of 46 straddled The BMJ, an academic research post at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, and a collaboration with DeepMind, Google’s artificial …

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