A MEDICAL DIRECTOR from St George’s Hospital has been elected President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Dr Patricia Hamilton, one of the country’s leading experts in the care of premature babies, will hold the title of President Elect until April 2006 when her three-year term of office officially begins.

She is the first woman to be voted President of the Royal College since it was founded in 1996.

Six candidates stood for the presidency of the College.

Dr Hamilton will remain in the post of Medical Director at St George’s Hospital with special responsibility for children’s and women’s care for the foreseeable future and will continue to play an active and leading role in the supervision of medical treatment throughout the Trust.

Commenting on her election, Dr Hamilton said:

“I am proud and honoured to be elected to this position. I’m looking forward to developing a strong College that leads and supports paediatricians in delivering excellent health services to children.”

The current President, Professor Sir Alan Craft, said:

“Dr Hamilton has worked in the College for several years and will be able to take forward the excellent work she has been doing on modernising our training. She is an excellent choice to take our new College, founded in 1996, into its adolescence.”

Dr Hamilton became a consultant and senior lecturer in neonatology at St George’s Hospital in 1987. She trained in paediatric medicine at Birmingham, Oxford and Great Ormond Street before specialising in neonatology in Vancouver, Canada and University College Hospital, London.

Congratulating Dr Hamilton on her election success, Peter Homa, the Chief Executive of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Dr Hamilton is a gifted and experienced clinician and as her recent election shows she has the overwhelming respect of her peers.

“On behalf of everyone in the hospital I would like to congratulate her on her election and wish her every success in her new role.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has over 6000 members, who are mainly hospital and community-based paediatricians.

The College supervises postgraduate training and examinations and publishes clinical guidelines for paediatric care.