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Professor Kathy Pritchard-Jones

Centenary Souvenir

PhD FRCPCH FRCP FMedSci

Chief Medical Officer for University College London Hospitals Cancer Collaborative, and Professor of Paediatric Oncology, London Professor Kathy Pritchard-Jones’ ambition is to make a step change in cancer patient outcomes and experience in London, by ensuring equitable access to best practice and innovation and understanding the value of the whole pathway. She qualified from the University of Oxford in 1983 after completing a BA in Physiological Sciences in 1980. After her Senior House Officer jobs, Kathy embarked on a PhD in the molecular biology of Wilms tumour in Edinburgh. Doing a PhD at that stage in her career allowed Kathy the opportunity to choose what interested her and she regards this time as her best career decision. After her PhD, Kathy spent over twenty years in clinical and translational research in childhood cancer, much of it at the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute for Cancer Research in Sutton, Surrey. She is leading the European effort, as Chief Investigator, to introduce a biologydriven approach to improving the treatment of childhood renal tumours through the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Renal Tumours Study Group (www.siop-rtsg.eu). Her major interest in national and international partnership working has led Kathy to apply her experience to adult cancers. She combines her work in childhood cancers with a senior leadership role in cancer strategy as Cancer Programme Director at University College London (UCL) Partners, one of five academic health science systems in England. A major part of this role is as Chief Medical Officer for London Cancer, an integrated cancer system involving twelve hospitals in North and East London, and West Essex and serving a population of over 3.5 million. Since 2010, in these various roles, Kathy has led the redesign of whole pathways of cancer care in partnership with patients, primary care, public health and the voluntary sector, to improve clinical outcomes, patient experience of care, and access to clinical trials and innovation. She works closely with commissioners and academic collaborators to develop ways to evaluate outcomes of whole pathways of care and understand the impact of these changes on local health outcomes. Her biggest mistake has been not to challenge people in authority whose agenda has included a more personal gain perspective. Kathy is also Professor of Paediatric Oncology at UCL Institute of Child Health and a Consultant Oncologist at Great Ormond

Street Hospital. She is part of the executive leadership of the European Network of Excellence for Cancer Research in Children and Adolescents (www.encca.org). This European Commission FP7-funded project aims to create a sustainable infrastructure for international collaborative research across Europe to improve cure and quality of cure for children and young people with cancer. Kathy has held many other international inf luential roles in International paediatric oncology, including Chair of the scientific committee of the SIOP from 2001-2004. At the time, there was conflict in the Middle East, which had the potential to jeopardise the SIOP global annual conference in Cairo. Ensuring that the 2003 Congress remained in its elected home of Cairo, despite the controversy around the safety of travel, was a major challenge for Kathy. She successfully resolved the issue with a show of solidarity and support for professional colleagues who were trying to make a difference to children with cancer. Kathy is enormously proud of this achievement. Kathy was the second President of SIOP Europe from 20072009 at a pivotal moment in clarifying how multi-national clinical trials – essential for the progress of childhood cancer – could continue to be investigator-led under the European Clinical Trial Directive. With over three hundred peer-reviewed publications, Kathy is inspired by Nelson Mandela, whom she believes stuck to his message of all humans being equal. On a personal note, Professor Sir David Fish, the man behind the creation of UCL Partners and the person with whom Kathy has worked most closely, and who encouraged her to take on a challenging leadership position, is another great inspiration. * Favourite Book: Touching the Void by Joe Simpson * Three objects Kathy cannot live without: Corkscrew, Sharp knife, Mobile Phone (but, only recently)

Kathy’s advice to junior doctors is “Learn to take personal responsibility for ensuring your patient’s health care journey is the best it can be and that your patient (and their family/ carers) is well informed about what needs to or is expected to happen to them.”

www.medicalwomensfederation.org.uk

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Medical Woman – Magazine Centenary Issue, April 2017  

The magazine for the Medical Women’s Federation (MWF), the largest and most influential body of women doctors in the UK which aims to promot...

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