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Sir Harry Platt

Sir Harry Platt (1886 – 1986)

President Royal College of Surgeons of England (1954-57)

Sir Harry Platt studied Medicine in Manchester and became an eminent orthopaedic surgeon. During the First World War he was surgeon-in-charge of a military orthopaedic centre in Manchester. He developed a great understanding of nerve injuries and bone grafting. He was Britain’s first Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery in the University of Manchester in 1932.

Sir Harry Platt - by Sam Tomkiss (MMS artefacts)

He played a key role in the foundation of the Manchester Surgical Society in 1922 which merged with the reformed Manchester Medical Society in 1950. It played an important role in bringing surgeons together across the North West. He was aware of ill feeling after the First World War between staff at  Manchester Royal Infirmary and those from non-teaching hospitals who had previously served together in harmony. It had been the practice at the Infirmary to only appoint staff who had held certain junior posts at the hospital. The new Manchester Surgical Society brought together colleagues from hospitals around the region.

The Platt Report formerly known as the Welfare of Sick Children In Hospital (Ministry of Health, 1959) dramatically improved the care for children in hospital by recommending that “Parents should be allowed to visit whenever they can, and to help as much as possible with the care of the child.’ There followed a transformation from exclusion to toleration and parental involvement in the care of their children.

Sir Harry Platt