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. Phil was also 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. 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 where he 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” – was 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, 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 where he has also presented multiple series of “Pillories of the State”, “The Music Group” and “The Motion Show”. ”Dr Phil’s Bedside Manner” where he toured NHS hospitals, chatting intimately with staff, patients, carers and volunteers, and then cheered them up with a comedy show received rave reviews and is available on the BBC Sounds App.
Phil’s 2022 Edinburgh Fringe shows – “Dr Hammond’s Covid Inquiry” and “How I Ruined Medicine” – both got 4* reviews.
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.