Intended for healthcare professionals


Tim Evans: respiratory medicine and intensive care physician who advised the Department of Health on clinical productivity

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 11 December 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k5242
  1. Janet Fricker
  1. Hemel Hempstead, UK
  1. janet.fricker1{at}

Tim Evans was a respiratory physician whose sphere of influence grew ever wider as his career evolved. He made his first contribution as a respiratory intensive care consultant at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (RBHFT). This was followed with administrative roles as medical director and deputy chief executive, and finally he was seconded to the Department of Health as national director for clinical productivity, where he strove to reduce unwarranted variation in practice.

Evans’s achievements included helping to establish intensive care medicine as a recognised specialty in the UK, and becoming a world authority on cardiothoracic intensive care, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). In addition, his translational research, with many national and international collaborators, advanced understanding of the pathobiology of ARDS and sepsis.

“Tim’s ultimate legacy was using talents he’d accrued over 30 years working in clinical practice and management to drive change in the NHS, improving quality of care and providing best value,” said Tim Briggs, national director for clinical quality and efficiency for the NHS, who worked with Evans on the Getting It Right First Time programme. “In his final role, Tim made a difference not just to his own patients but to the lives of millions of people across the UK. It was a heck of an achievement.”

Evans’s administrative career took flight in 2010 when as academic vice president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) he was involved in writing Hospitals on the Edge? The Time for Action, published in September 2012.1 The report set out the magnitude of challenges facing acute hospital services after the Mid Staffs scandal. Next, Evans conceived the idea for the RCP’s future hospital commission, resulting in publication of Future Hospitals: Caring for Medical Patients in 2013, setting out the …

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