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'You can't climb a ladder with your hands in your pockets'

Professsor Bim Bhowmick recently retired from the NHS after nearly 50 years of service. Surviving the Noahkali Genocide in 1946, as a young boy he fled to India as a refugee. Penniless and starving, he struggled with education but through sheer determination he succeeded against adversity, fulfilling his dying father’s wish that he became a doctor. He joined the NHS in 1969 and specialized in Care of the Elderly in rural North Wales. He has worked tirelessly to improve patient care and medical education, and has developed innovative services for stroke patients and frail older persons. 


Bim has been awarded a string of accolades and awards over the years. These have included an OBE in 2000 in recognition of his contribution to developing elderly care services in Wales. He received the ‘Founders Medal’ from the British Geriatrics Society, the highest honour bestowed by the Society for distinguished service, and has won the UK BUPA Charity Medical Research prize for groundbreaking work in improving the care of older persons in acute illness. He has been honoured by the Welsh Stroke Conference with the annual ‘Bim Bhowmick Stroke Lecture’.


In 2009, he received the Inaugural Lifetime Achievement NHS Wales Award in recognition of his pioneering work, which ensures that older people receive safe acute care in their own homes. Described as a 'Rolls Royce service' by patients, his innovative projects have significantly reduced the burden of avoidable hospital admissions on the NHS. 


In 2011, Bim was awarded a Welsh Government Recognising Achievement Award and in 2012 he received the Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his public service. In 2014, he was shortlisted for the Bevan Prize by the Bevan Foundation for his outstanding contribution to health and wellbeing of the elderly and continues to be a member of the independent think tank, the Bevan Commission, advising the Minister. He held the honour of being Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd until February 2015 and holds Fellowships with two Universities.


He has been an active champion of diversity. He was the first ethnic MRCP examiner and first elected ethnic councillor of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). He helped to initiate the RCP Ethnic Monitoring Committee, now the Equality and Diversity Committee, and chaired it until 2006 promoting the role of BME doctors within the College. As a Director of Welsh Refugee and Asylum Seeker doctors, Bim was passionate in helping with re-education and tackling painstaking hurdles in settling refugee doctors into jobs.


Prof Bhowmick is one of those remarkable individuals with vision, persuasion, persistence, passion and an unrelenting drive, that one meets rarely.  His ethos is summed up in the title of his memoirs ‘You Can’t Climb a Ladder with your Hands in your Pockets’. I cannot think of anyone more worthy of being recognised for the enormous contribution he has made to the care and welfare of others in this country.

edited on Apr 26, 2018 by Binita Kane

Indepal Singh Apr 28, 2018

I support Bim.

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Sharan Ramakrishna Apr 30, 2018

Truly exceptional leader who has tirelessly worked for what he believed is the right thing to do .

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Zoe England May 6, 2018

A very worthy award to an incredible person

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Cerion Evans May 6, 2018

I support professor Bhowmick. He is such an inspiration to all that have had the pleasure to work with and meet

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Leona Walsh May 7, 2018

I vote for Bim because he has been the most inspirational leader in Medical Education. Lifetime mentor to many, including myself.

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Deryn Evans May 8, 2018

I fully support Bin's application as somebody who has worked with him for over 20 years and have witnessed his outstanding contribution to the welfare of overseas doctors and the training of all junior doctors in Wales.

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Catherine Winston May 8, 2018

Amazing how Proff has transformed care to patients in the community. Truly inspiring for those of us lucky enough to have worked with him

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Michelle Hatch May 9, 2018

I vote for the Prof. Embodiment of the principles of the NHS

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Sian Widlake May 9, 2018

I support Professor Bhowmick. Having been one of his secretaries over 20years ago, I have seen first hand his caring nature and huge heart. X

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George Jackson May 9, 2018

My family is very proud to support Professor Bhowmick. He has worked selflesdlyvand tirelessly for his patients and patient care and education. My daughter and two grandsons have been inspired by his advice, support and guidance over many years. It's an honour to know him and admire his achievements, his remarkable story and his wonderful family.

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Gren kershaw May 10, 2018

Bim is a remarkable individual. As his Chief Executive for 17 years, I valued his judgement, perseverance, integrity and sheer hard effort to ensure patients got the best service possible.

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Narmer EL-Lamie May 10, 2018

Got my vote

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Michelle Moore May 10, 2018

NHS elderly care would be very different today without Bim, I can’t think of anyone who deserves this award more

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Maxiboy May 10, 2018

A very worthy winner (hopefully).

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(Account removed) May 18, 2018

This idea has been advanced to the current phase

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