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Observations BMJ Confidential

Clifford Mann: Small wooden boxes wanted

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 03 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5380


Clifford Mann, consultant in emergency medicine at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, blames successive governments for failing to anticipate growing problems in emergency (A&E) departments. President of the College of Emergency Medicine since 2013, he says that the complexities of health reforms took up so much time that ministers had “decision paralysis” and ignored the warning signs of falling recruitment that were apparent by 2010. He contests claims that 40% of A&E patients need not be there and cites the college’s own research, which suggests the figure is nearer 15%. Mann is 52.

What was your earliest ambition?

To be a scientist. Unfortunately, I found A-level chemistry a lot harder than I’d expected.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

The choirmaster at St Peter’s Church in Henleaze, Bristol. From age 7 to 18 he taught me that excellence requires both ability and effort, loyalty …

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