Dr Simon Bignall

Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist


A pioneer in children’s paediatrics who has revolutionised assisted breathing for newborns.

Dr Simon Bignall is at the forefront of neonatal care. He is Director of Neonatology at the Portland Hospital, and is still very actively involved in the care of babies in intensive care both there and at St Mary's.

A pioneer in children’s paediatrics, Dr Bignall has invented and developed many life-support systems for babies. A particular specialism has been around creating new techniques to help babies in need of assisted breathing.

Even the most advanced traditional ventilators could put a baby’s lungs at risk, by sometimes inadvertently forcing air back into the lungs at a point in the breathing cycle when the baby is attempting to breathe out.

By working closely with a major ventilator manufacturer, Dr Bignall helped devise a system equipped with sensors placed over the baby’s diaphragm which are able to gauge the stage in the breathing cycle. The SIPAP ventilator has made it possible for many prematurely born children to thrive, some of whom would likely not have lived without it.

Professional background


Dr Bignall trained in London and Canada. He became a Consultant at St Mary's in London in 1990.

He is a keen contributor to debates around the welfare of children, and his opinion is regularly sought by health commentators and professional bodies.

Services provided to HCA


Dr Bignall provides medical advisory services for HCA's Portland Hospital. In his role, Dr Bignall leads interactions with hospital medical staff and the hospital leadership team to assist the hospital by providing medical advice and promote high quality, cost effective care.

In his role, he contributes to the strategy, policies and decision making regarding paediatrics treatments and advises HCA to ensure that care provided within the facility is appropriate and efficient. In his role, Dr Bignall advises on initiatives to drive clinical standards by providing professional advice on clinical governance matters and ensuring the adoption of those by colleagues in the paediatrics area.

In addition, he works with medical insurance companies, GPs, other relevant local NHS contacts, and patients to educate and advise on relevant clinical updates to treatments in paediatrics available in the facility. Furthermore, he advises on the accuracy of literature that may be published regarding relevant services. He will also advise on how to make the patient referral smooth to reduce stress and anxiety for patients.

HCA UK is charged by doctors in return for their expertise and advice, including on how to operate safe hospital facilities delivering complex care. All services provided under this agreement are charged to HCA UK. From January to December 2017, the total charge was £26,538.00

HCA requires the doctors that advise us to attest that if they also practice in the NHS that they are not compromising their NHS commitments.

The information disclosed on this page in accordance with the Private Healthcare Market Investigation Order 2014 is true and accurate to the best of HCA’s knowledge and belief.