Intended for healthcare professionals


The BMJ Awards 2018: Outstanding Contribution to Health

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 10 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2011
  1. Nigel Hawkes, freelance journalist
  1. London, UK

Wendy Savage always has a new campaign up her sleeve. “If I get a call at 8 30 am on a Saturday morning, it’ll be Wendy saying, ‘I’ve got this fantastic idea,’” says Melanie Davies, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at University College London Hospitals. “She’s an inveterate campaigner—it’s her raison d’etre.”

It’s this campaigning spirit, particularly on the NHS and women’s rights, that make Wendy Savage a worthy winner of this year’s The BMJ Award for Outstanding Contribution to Health.

Jacky Davis, the consultant radiologist who, with Savage, started the campaign Keep our NHS Public in 2005, knows her well but admits she has no idea of half of what she does. Her quality, she says, is absolute fearlessness. “She’s been involved in lots of organisations, including the GMC and the BMA, and she’s achieved what she has by challenging the medical establishment. She will speak truth to power.”

Her unflinching nature was forged in 1985 when she was the victim of an attempt to unseat her from her position as senior lecturer in obstetrics at the (then) London Hospital. What started as a difference over style and attitude quickly turned into allegations of incompetence, and two trials …

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