Dr Dixon said: ‘The premature death of Professor Aidan Halligan at the age of 57 sees the loss of a giant in British medicine, who was a friend and frequent speaker at NHS Alliance conferences. A man of unequalled courage, integrity, colour and passion. A man who spoke truth to power and everyone else. He is, quite simply, irreplaceable.
‘Many will remember him as the national clinical leader for clinical governance, as part of health service reform at the turn of the century, and then as a charismatic deputy chief medical officer. He could have achieved high office in the NHS or anywhere else, but he was an independent thinker who would not trade integrity for promotion.'
Dr Dixon added: ‘He then pursued his two lifelong ambitions to improve the quality of clinical leadership and lead improvement in care for those in most need, which led to groundbreaking work on behalf of the homeless. Latterly, he was leading the NHS Staff College from strength to strength and had started a ground breaking project, Well North, to improve the health and care of deprived communities in 10 cities of the north of England.
‘Aidan will be remembered by many generations as an outstanding orator. Without notes, he would bring an audience to tears or laughter; but always with a serious underlying message as to how we could all do better. He was an enemy of cant, vested interest and inflated egos. To everyone else he offered support, hope and wise counsel. Aidan was a deeply good man and will be irretrievably missed.’
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