Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

Hilary Cass: Planning to learn the saxophone

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 20 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6834

In this series the BMJ asks the movers and shakers of the medical world about work, life, and less serious matters


Hilary Cass, 55, has been president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health since 2012 and is a champion of better health services for children. The NHS is not getting it right, she argues, with standards slipping below those in similar countries and children dying or suffering unnecessarily because their illnesses are not properly diagnosed and treated. At Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, where she is a consultant in paediatric disability, she is involved in a scheme to move more care into the community, with a children’s health centre that draws on the skills of GPs and paediatricians.

What was your earliest ambition?

Not to be the last person picked in team games. I have the hand-eye coordination of a newt.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

No single person. The people I am most impressed by are those of my female friends and colleagues who manage …

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