I trained in Medicine at King's, qualifying in 1965, and retired from active clinical work in 2009. Initially on a surgical ladder, I worked in General surgery, neurosurgery, urology and A&E. From 1971-73 I was Registrar in daily charge of Kings A&E. Staffing requirements were much less demanding at a time when disposable needles, plastic giving sets and plastic syringes were displacing glass bottles for IV fluids, glass syringes etc. When my daughter was born in 1973, I decided on a change of direction and became Medical Officer at the Second Dartford Tunnel in charge of work in compressed air. Increased air pressure in the tunnels held back ground water, but the workers risked developing decompression sickness (bends) and bone damage – dysbaric osteonecrosis. I continued in tunnel work in the uk and overseas until 2006. In 1974 I had a month offshore seconded to a diving company supporting BP in their Forties Field off Aberdeen. Later that year I began doing statutory examinations of professional divers; From then until 2009, I was seeing about 9% of British divers, treating divers and tunnellers for bends and other work-related conditions, doing research under various MRC and SRC contracts, and working with contractors and statutory bodies (EMAS and HSE) developing legislation and codes of conduct. I was also an Appointed Doctor for work with lead, asbestos COSHH and ionising radiation.
My wife – an ex-King's nurse - died in March 2010 after severe illness. Early in 2007 we had taken in my mother and brother-in-law age 89 and 70 both very frail and unable to care for themselves. Having some long term conditions myself, the house was more like a nursing home. MiL died in March 2008 having refused our request to call in doctors or other carers. My BiL died in November 2010 and suddenly my daughter and I had no responsibilities save to each other and the cat. A year later my GP practice wanted a patient rep to sit on a procurement panel. In volunteering I also became chair of the practice Patient Participation group, represented South Southwark on the CCG’s Engagement and Patient Experience Group EPEC and became the patient rep on the New Dulwich Health Centre Boards. It was recently opened as the Tessa Jowell Medical Centre from 2011 to 2020. In 2014 I was elected Chair of the OHSEL Patient and Public Advisory Group PPAG which was stood down in March 2020. As Chair I had a place on the OHSEL Board, and was asked to join a number of procurement panels and some appointment panels. I responded to an invitation to join the CPLG Patient and Public Network and be one of two patient reps on the pan London CPLG.