Dr Hilary Cass OBE is Chair of Trustees for Together for Short Lives.
Hilary has recently retired from her role as a consultant in Paediatric Disability at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. She was President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health between March 2012 and March 2015, and was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to child health.
After qualifying at the Royal Free Hospital London in 1982, Hilary trained as a general paediatrician and then went on to develop her higher specialist training in the field of disability. Over the years, Hilary’s clinical interests have included children with autistic spectrum disorders, children with cognitive impairment secondary to epilepsy, children with visual impairment and management of children with multiple disabilities. Hilary runs a national service for children with Rett syndrome and has published widely in this area.
Since 2008, recognising the important interface between disability and palliative care, Hilary started to take on a more active clinical role in this area. She established the Paediatric Palliative Care Service at Evelina London.
Over a 15-year period at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Hilary held various senior management roles including Director of Postgraduate Medical Education and Deputy Medical Director. She has held several regional and national roles in medical education and policy development, including Head of School of Paediatrics for London.
At Great Ormond Street Hospital, she ran a highly successful programme which used role play to re-enact the ups and downs of the patient journey and teach clinical governance and improvement skills to staff across the hospital. Hilary has been extensively involved with the Department of Health and several regional and national bodies in developing new models of integrated paediatric care. She is currently leading on the development of new primary-secondary care interface models in paediatrics between King’s Health Partners and local primary care partners.
Hilary is passionate about improving children’s health outcomes and exploring new ways of designing and delivering health care to children. Hilary has been vocal about moving the focus of care from hospitals and into the community, exploring the idea of developing specialist child health hubs.