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Sad news – John Aitchison

May 26th, 2020

The BHBIA were very sad to hear that John Aitchison passed away last week, following a long period of living with cancer. We send our sincere condolences to John’s family and to all his friends and colleagues, many of whom are BHBIA members. 

The UK healthcare market research industry has lost one of its leading lights and John will be greatly missed. 

John made an exceptional contribution to the market research industry over the years, initially with TNS (now Kantar), before setting up his own companies: First Line Research and, more recently, SurveyScore Ltd. He was well known for his commitment to best practice, his desire to challenge the way we do things and to the application of learnings from other disciplines to benefit healthcare market research.

John presented numerous innovative conference papers and training sessions for the BHBIA, and he also served on the Board. He was perhaps best known amongst BHBIA members for his recent work as Co-Chair of the Response Rates Task Force, which highlighted the threat that dwindling healthcare professional participation poses to the quality and sustainability of healthcare market research. We are keen to honour John’s memory by continuing to drive forward the group’s recommendations for improving the participant experience, thereby ensuring the future credibility of our work. 

The Board would like to recognise John’s exceptional commitment to the BHBIA and the industry by dedicating the BHBIA Outstanding Contribution Award to John’s memory. This award is for someone who has ‘gone the extra mile’ for the benefit of the BHBIA and its members. We feel that this would be a fitting tribute to John, who won the award twice himself. The award will therefore, from 2020 onwards, be named ‘The John Aitchison Award for Outstanding Contribution’. 

If you would like to send a personal message of condolence to John's family and/or donate to one of his chosen charities (Pancreatic Cancer UK or St Leonard's Hospice, York) please click on this link.