Ilora Finlay is Professor of Palliative Medicine at Cardiff University. She was the first consultant in Palliative Medicine in Wales in 1987, set up the hospice there and has developed palliative and hospice services across Wales. She has worked with Marie Curie Cancer Care since 1987 and is now a National Vice President. Professor Finlay has been President at the Royal Society of Medicine and is President of the Chartered Society for Physiotherapy.
She currently chairs the Implementation Board for the Palliative Care Strategy in Wales and has been instrumental in changing palliative care services across Wales to ensure 7 day working by specialist teams with consultant advice available 24/7.
In 1989 she established the Diploma in Palliative Medicine which has now led to MSc distance learning courses in palliative care at Cardiff University. These courses are internationally renowned.
Since her elevation to a Peerage in 2001, she has been actively involved in debates on health issues, particularly relating to Health and Tobacco and took the Sunbed Bill through the last Parliament, ensuring sunbeds are supervised and not used by those under 18. As a Member of the Select Committees on Science and Technology she chaired the enquiry into Allergy. She also served on Select Committee on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill.
She was Welsh Woman of the Year 1996-97 and has held Visiting Professorships in the Netherlands and Australia. In 2008 she won the coveted ‘Woman Peer of the Year’ award and in 2007 was named Parliamentary Charity Champion.
She has published and lectured widely on palliative care, and researched into aspects of cancer palliative care. She remains an active clinician, teacher and academic as well as her involvement in Parliament. She is co-Chairman of Living and Dying Well, a think-tank to examine the evidence around euthanasia and assisted suicide.
She recently chaired the Royal College of General Practitioners Commission on Medical Generalism.