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Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson to step down

England’s Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson will be stepping down in May 2010, after 12 years of service. 

The longest serving Chief Medical Officer of modern times, Sir Liam has led many reforms to the NHS and improvements to the nation’s public health.  Some of the major achievements include:

  • Smokefree public places and work places
  • The creation of the Health Protection Agency
  • The introduction of clinical governance in the NHS
  • The setting up of the National Patient Safety Agency
  • New legislation for research using embryonic cells
  • New legislation on consent for removal of organs and tissues
  • Action plans in key areas of infectious disease control such as tuberculosis, West Nile fever and health care associated infection

Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, FPH President, paid tribute:

"Sir Liam has been a truly innovative and campaigning CMO and rightly deserves to be regarded as one of the greats.

“His push for smoke-free legislation, quality in healthcare, patient safety, sense about MMR, minimum pricing of alcohol, and recently his handling of pandemic flu have, have surely earned him an honoured place in the public health pantheon.

“As a Fellow of our Faculty he has also been a very good friend to FPH and to the development of public health as a profession. We will be sad to see him go."

Sir Liam is the 15th person to take up the independent role since the first Chief Medical Officer was appointed in 1855 as a response to the cholera epidemics that swept Victorian England.

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Written: 17/12/2009 , last modified: 17/12/2009