Intended for healthcare professionals


Peter Draper

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 14 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i4865
  1. Joanna Lyall
  1. London
  1. j.lyall{at}

Public health campaigner who opposed the “marketisation” of the NHS

When working as a physician in Manchester hospitals in the 1960s Peter Draper was struck by the variety of factors that brought patients to clinics. And he was horrified by the anger of the senior colleague whose waiting list he had cleared while covering the doctor’s holiday. These influences prompted a switch to community medicine and an enduring aversion to private practice and what he saw as the creeping privatisation of the NHS.

In a blog for Doctors for the NHS (previously the NHS Consultants Association) in July 2016, Draper, aged 83, warned of the critical state of health and social care in the UK. “Despite the international evidence, the right in the UK tends to react to increasing healthcare costs by implementing privatisation, cutting services, and closing hospitals, even though we are seriously ‘underbedded’ in comparison with many …

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