Phil Hammond is an NHS doctor, campaigner, health writer, investigative journalist, broadcaster, speaker and comedian. He has done all these jobs imperfectly and part-time since 1987, and was also a lecturer in medical communication at the Universities of Birmingham and Bristol. As a doctor, Phil worked part time in general practice for over 20 years, and has also worked in sexual health. He currently works in a specialist NHS team in Bath for young people with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME.
Phil presented five series of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor on BBC2, and has been a presenter for BBC Radio Bristol since 2007. He is Private Eye’s medical correspondent, broke the story of the Bristol heart scandal in 1992 and gave evidence to the subsequent Public Inquiry. In 2012, he was shortlisted with Andrew Bousfield for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Investigative Journalism for ‘Shoot the Messenger,’ a Private Eye investigation into the shocking treatment of NHS whistle-blowers. In 2014 and 2015, he was voted a Top 100 NHS Clinical Leader by the Health Service Journal. He has fiercely supported NHS junior doctors in their battle with the government against an imposed, untested and potentially unsafe new job contract.
As a comedian, Phil was half of the award winning double-act Struck Off and Die, with Tony Gardner. Phil has appeared many times on Have I Got News for You and Countdown. His NHS comedy, Polyoaks, is written with David Spicer and has had four series on BBC Radio 4. He is a columnist for Reveal, and writes comment pieces for the Times. Phil is a Vice President of the Patients’ Associationand a patron of Meningitis UK, the Doctors’ Support Network, the Herpes Viruses Association, Patients First, PoTS, the NET Patient Foundation and Kissing It Better. He is also a fundraiser and advisor for the Association of Young People with ME.
Phil has never belonged to any political party but was highly critical of the Health and Social Care Bill (now Act) in a BBC1 Question Time debate with then health secretary Andrew Lansley. He said the reforms were ‘wonk’, there was no convincing narrative explaining the reasons for the changes and that the focus on competition rather than the collaboration and co-operation needed for an integrated, evidence lead service.
Dr Phil is married to Jo, also a GP, and has two children, two Labradors, two cats, a pony and a full head of ginger hair.