Dr. Philippa Whitford
Born in Belfast, Philippa has spent most of her life in Scotland and studied Medicine at Glasgow University. Despite being told repeatedly that women couldn’t do surgery, Philippa decided to go for it. She did most of her training in the West of Scotland and carried out Breast Cancer research at Glasgow University for 2 years. Philippa spent 18 months as a medical volunteer in a UN hospital in Gaza in 1991 and 1992, just after the first Gulf War and during the first Intifada; followed by a short spell in Lebanon in 1993. She was a Consultant Breast Cancer Surgeon in Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock for 19 years where she redesigned the service and established reconstructive breast surgery. Her particular contribution was designing the Scottish accreditation standards for Breast Cancer services and developing regional cancer networks to encourage sharing of good practice. Philippa actively campaigned for a YES vote in Scotland’s referendum through ‘Women for Independence’ and was one of the founders of ‘NHS for YES’. After a speech went viral on YouTube, she ended up speaking all over Scotland! In the General Election of 2015, she won her constituency of Central Ayrshire and became the Shadow Health Spokesperson for the SNP at Westminster.