President and Vice-Presidents


The positions of our President and our Vice-Presidents are honorary roles and the Patients Organisation is grateful and proud to be working with the following members. 

Sir Robert Francis QC

Sir Robert Francis QC, who led the public inquiry into poor care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, is the President of the Patients Association. Sir Robert Francis is a high-profile silk who led the nationally reported Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry, the findings of which were recently published with substantial implications for medical defence bodies and the wider NHS. Sir Robert Francis QC says:

“The Patients Association have been ardent campaigners for the safety and well-being of patients for decades, and as core participants they ensured that the patient voice was well represented throughout the Inquiry. As President I will support the organisation as they continue to carry out their invaluable work.”

Sir Robert Francis has appeared in a number of healthcare related inquiries and chaired the Independent Inquiry into the care provided by the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, and subsequently the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry.

Jo Brand

Since leaving her job as a psychiatric nurse in 1987, Jo Brand has built a large following across the UK. Appearing initially on the Saturday Live television show, her career continues to go from strength to strength.

Among her many accolades, Jo has written, contributed to and starred in a whole host of plays, television panel shows and comedy shows.

One particular role that was inspired by her earlier career in nursing, was the series Getting on, which Jo wrote and starred in and is set in a hospital’s geriatric ward. Jo received a BAFTA nomination for Best Female Comedy Performance for Getting On.

Speaking about her role at the Patients Association, Jo said:

I am very pleased to be able to support the Patients Association. Not only was I a huge admirer of Claire Rayner who I think did an incomparable job, but as an ex nurse I am aware that the support of organisations such as the Patients Association is invaluable to people who are experiencing difficult and stressful times whilst going through treatment.

Lynn Faulds-Wood

Lynn has had a varied career both in television and magazine/newspaper journalism, and was granted by a number of awards for her journalist talent (Consumer Journalist of the Decade 1980s, Motoring Writer of the Year, Medical Broadcaster of the Year (1996-7) etc).

Lynn has beaten both skin and bowel cancer and now campaigns in raising the awareness of the latter sitting on scientific, medical and advisory committees across Europe.

Dr Phil Hammond

Dr Phil Hammond is a GP, writer, journalist, broadcaster, campaigner, comedian and lecturer. He is currently a part-time GP and Lecturer in Medical Communication at Bristol Medical School. As a campaigning journalist, he was first to highlight the disastrous state of child heart surgery in Bristol in the early 90’s.

Dr Hammond is a fierce advocate for the freedom of high quality information that allows users of the NHS and private sector to make informed choices about their health.

Professor Iain Hutchinson

Professor Iain Hutchison has been Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon St Bartholomew’s, The Royal London Hospital & Homerton Hospitals since 1989. He has built a tertiary referral practice in head and neck cancer based on high standards of ablative surgery and reconstruction.

He founded the charity The Facial Surgery Research Foundation – Saving Faces in 2000 to lead research into facial diseases and disorders, and is now the Honorary Chief Executive and Research Director.

Iain Hutchison has co-organised National Oral Cancer Awareness Week, and initiated the National Facial Injuries Week, as well as founded the United Kingdom Oral Cancer Research Group.

Sir Donald Irvine

After qualifying from Newcastle Medical School in 1958, Sir Donald was a general practitioner in Northumberland for 35 years. For 20 of those years he was also regional adviser for general practice at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Between 1983 and 1985 he served as chairman of the Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners. In 1995 he was elected president of the General Medical Council, the first general practitioner to hold that office.

Throughout his career, Sir Donald has had extensive teaching and research interests, focused primarily on general practice and on standards of practice and the quality of health care. As chairman of the GMC Standards Committee he was responsible for the development of “Good Medical Practice,” which sets out the duties and responsibilities of every UK doctor and the standards that form the basic template for modern medical regulation and education. Maintaining quality of practice and reforming regulation were the central themes of Sir Donald’s presidency of the GMC.

He has written and lectured extensively on general practice, medical education, patient-centred professionalism and quality themes in health. He has been awarded honorary degrees from six UK universities and honorary fellowships from five medical royal colleges. In 2004 he was presented with the Picker Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care.

Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws

A barrister, writer, broadcaster and peer – Helena Kennedy is one of the best-known of her profession both within the law and beyond it. Bold and fearless, the Labour peer has never hesitated to criticise her party’s line on law and order legislation whether over the legal advice on the war in Iraq or plans to remove judicial review in asylum cases.

Once called the “nation’s favourite Portia” she speaks with wit and passion — defending civil liberties and promoting human rights, from the rights of women and children to medical negligence.

She is married to Dr. Iain Hutchinson. Her numerous awards include being made a bencher of Gray’s Inn in 2000 and 19 honorary doctorates. Public positions held include Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University; chairman of the British Council and of the Human Genetics Commission. Her books include: Eve was Framed: Women and British Justice; and Just Law: the changing face of justice and why it matters to us.

Baroness Masham of Ilton

The Baroness Masham of Ilton is an active member of the House of Lords. She has a particular concern in issues surrounding health and disability.

Beyond being Vice-President of the Patients Association, the Baroness Masham is a fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Chair of the Cross Party Health Group and Patient and Public Involvement in Health Group, and Vice-Chair of the Obesity Group and Men’s Health Group.

Dr Jackie Morris

Dr Jackie Morris trained at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School and qualified in 1971. She decided to specialise in medical care of older people from a young age. Having completed her training in General Medicine and Geriatric Medicine she was appointed a Consultant Physician at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington in 1979 and then at The Royal Free Hospital Hampstead in 1985

Throughout her career she has been a powerful advocate of the importance of compassionate, effective and dignified care for older people. She has been The Honorary Secretary of the British Geriatrics Society (BGS), Chair of the BGS Policy Committee during which time she led the “Behind Closed doors campaign” in 2006-7. This highlighted the human rights of older people particularly and in particular the importance of privacy when using the toilet, and the prevention of humiliating and degrading treatment. Since then she has led two further campaigns promoting person centred and dignified care in 2010 and 2011.

She is currently working with the National Council for Palliative Care and The Quality Group at the British Geriatrics Society as well as the Patients Association. She is also involved with work on end of life care in advanced dementia and is an advisor to the International Longevity Centre (UK). She is studying for the Diploma in the Philosophy and Ethics of Healthcare at the Institute of Apothecaries.

She is honoured to be part of the Patients Association to continue to work and campaign to improve care for older people.

Dame Esther Rantzen

Dame Esther Rantzen, CBE, is a Vice President of the Patients Association in order to support their vision for a truly caring, compassionate and honest care system. She founded the child protection charity ChildLine in 1986 and The Silver Line charity designed to combat loneliness in 2012.

Prior to her work with Childline and Silver Line, Dame Rantzen had a long and successful career at the BBC and has written several books.

Angela Rippon

Angela’s career has embraced a large variety of programmes on both radio and television for both Commercial and BBC stations, in Britain and America. She has been involved with a number of charities.

Beyond being Vice President of the Patients Association, Angela is the National Vice President of NCH Action for Children and The Riding for Disabled Association, Patron of Support Dogs and a Barker of the Variety Club and has recently been appointed Vice President of the British Red Cross and Chairman of English National Ballet.

Lord Wolfson of Sunningdale

David Wolfson is a Conservative peer. He was director of Great Universal Stores from 1973 to 1978 and from 1993 to 2000, and chairman from 1996 to 2000. In 1978 and 1979, he was Secretary to the Shadow Cabinet and Chief of Staff of the Political Office, 10 Downing Street, between 1979 and 1985. He was chairman of the Alexon Group plc from 1982 to 1986, of Next plc from 1990 to 1998, of GUS from 1996 to 2000, and of William Baird from 2002 to 2003. Since 2001, Wolfson is non-executive director of Fibernet, and chairman since 2002. For Compco, he was chairman from 1995 to 2003.

Knighted in 1984, he was made a life peer with the title Baron Wolfson of Sunningdale, of Trevose in the County of Cornwall on 26 March 1991.