Dr Phil Hammond is an NHS doctor, journalist, broadcaster, speaker, campaigner and comedian. He was born in the NHS and brought up in Perth, Western Australia, leaving at the age of 7 when his Australian father took his life. Phil was a lecturer at the universities of Birmingham and Bristol, training medical students and doctors to communicate better with patients. He was voted Teacher of the Year by his students in Birmingham. His journalism, campaigning, broadcasting and books have tried to help patients and carers cope better with life, illness and the NHS, and seek out the right care.
Phil qualified as a doctor in 1987 and has worked in the NHS for 34 years. As a doctor, he worked part time in general practice for over twenty years, and has also worked in sexual health. He currently works in a specialist NHS team based at the Royal United Hospital in Bath for young people with severe fatigue, including post viral fatigue and long Covid. He could retire on January 1, when he will be 60, but has chosen not to because he finds the job so rewarding. He has twice been selected for the Health Service Journal Top 100 Clinical Leaders.
Phil presented five series of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor on BBC2, encouraging patients to be more involved, assertive and questioning, and was a presenter for BBC Radio Bristol with Dr Phil’s Saturday Surgery from 2007-2018. 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, Phil was shortlisted, with Andrew Bousfield, for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism for ‘Shoot the Messenger’, a Private Eye investigation into the shocking treatment of NHS whistle- blowers. His coverage of the pandemic in Private Eye was highly praised, and a book of the columns – Dr Hammond’s Covid Casebook – is a Sunday Times bestseller. He is currently working on an autobiography – The Art of Living When You Know You’re Going to Die.
As a comedian, Phil was half of the award-winning double-act Struck Off and Die, with Tony Gardner. They won a Writer’s Guild Award, a Silver Sony Award and received record numbers of complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Council. He has done Edinburgh fringe shows since 1990 and four solo UK tours, and has appeared on Have I Got News For You, Question Time, Countdown, The One Show and Long Live Britain. His NHS comedy Polyoaks, written with David Spicer, had five series on Radio 4. He also presented multiple series of Pillories of the State, The Music Group and The Motion Show for Radio 4. In his new 4-part Radio 4 series – Dr Phil’s Bedside Manner – Phil toured NHS hospitals, chatting intimately with staff, patients, carers and volunteers, and then cheered them up with a comedy show. It received rave reviews and is available on the BBC Sounds App.
Phil lives in Somerset with his wife Jo, a GP. They have two adult children, two dogs and a cat. Phil is a patron of Julian House – a charity for the homeless; Heads Up – a mental health charity; the Doctors’ Support Network; the Herpes Viruses Association and Kissing it Better. He writes extensively about error and uncertainty, and openly admits his own mistakes so everyone can laugh and learn from them. Phil’s five previous books are