Dr Hilary Williams, a consultant in medical oncology at Velindre Cancer Centre in south Wales, has been elected the next vice president for Wales at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).
She succeeds Dr Olwen Williams, a consultant in sexual health and HIV medicine based in north Wales, who will step down in June after a three-year term as vice president.
Dr Hilary Williams takes over as vice president for Wales at a tumultuous time for the NHS. As the health service faces the combined challenges of a waiting list backlog, widening health inequalities and industrial action, she wants to work on behalf of RCP fellows and members to campaign for more NHS staff, higher standards of care and a better patient experience for people in Wales.
Dr Williams trained in Sheffield before completing a PhD in Edinburgh in immunology and oncogenic viruses, then worked as a registrar in south-west England. She became RCP regional adviser for south-east Wales in 2018 before being elected to RCP Council in 2022. She is an active founder member of the UK Acute Oncology Society, the national Wales Cancer Network lead for acute oncology, and a mentor for the RCP Emerging Women Leaders Programme. In her spare time, she enjoys walking in the Welsh mountains. Dr Williams will become vice president on 1 July 2023.
Dr Hilary Williams, RCP vice president-elect for Wales, said:
"I joined the RCP because I want to work in an NHS where doctors feel valued. When I started my medical career in Sheffield, patients were not nursed in corridors, ambulances rarely queued, and we were not allowed to move patients in the middle of the night to free up beds.
"I am keen to listen to members and fellows and work with our network of regional advisers, college tutors and trainee representatives to come up with collaborative solutions that support the medical workforce, reduce variation in care, and maintain high professional standards across the Welsh NHS. I want to recognise and celebrate the commitment, skills and professionalism of physicians and their teams across Wales.
"It is currently difficult to imagine an NHS where teams working in acute medicine have sufficient time to reflect and to enjoy caring for their patients. We need more staff on the ground, across all specialties and professions, and I want to work with other professional bodies to drive change and improve outcomes at scale and pace. Clinicians must lead the way to ensure that our patients receive the high-quality care they deserve."