BMA hero scoops NHS award

The first female professor of surgery, who was told at school ‘you will never learn to sew’, has been recognised with the Aneurin Bevan Lifetime Achievement award.

Former BMA president Professor Averil Mansfield, pictured, received the honour this week at the NHS Heroes Awards, run by ITV and the Daily Mirror newspaper.

Professor Mansfield said she didn’t consider herself a hero but ‘someone who had a very happy life being a surgeon’.

She was pleased to have won an award named for the Labour health minister who founded the NHS.

‘It is lucky for me that the award is named after this man who began the health service which I have worked in for 40 years,’ she added.

A bust of Bevan, which Professor Mansfield and her late husband, Jack, donated to the BMA, can be seen in its members’ lounge, the Hastings Room.

Professor Mansfield considers her positions as the first female president of the The Vascular Society for Great Britain and Ireland and the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland as the important landmarks in her career.

‘I wanted women to see that if you want to achieve something you can just work hard and do it.’

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