It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of Professor Val Curtis, a highly valued colleague and friend and member of the behavioural group of Independent SAGE. Val combined humane and progressive values bringing a creative flair to the effective global research she led, transforming hand hygiene practices and policies in many countries. She recently reflected on her career, understanding human behaviour and COVID-19 in her inaugural lecture for the London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine.
Some of us have known and worked with Val for more than a decade, and we were privileged to have worked with her on Independent SAGE over the last six months. She told us in recent weeks that this was one of the things that kept her going as her energy faded. Val was courageous and generous to the end, recently sharing her experience of cancer and failures of her beloved NHS in this Guardian article. She has left us with a draft of a document about her vision for rebooting the NHS and we told her that we would ensure it came to fruition. We will do that and treasure our memories of a wonderful human being.