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Obituaries

Obituaries

We are pleased to recognise and pay tribute to the lives and work of many of our Fellows and Members. These Fellows and Members have helped to both shape Emergency Medicine and influence the work of the College.

While every effort has been made to ensure the details in the obituaries are correct, we would ask Fellows and Members to send us any corrections.

If you have any suggested amendments or would like to provide us with information for us to write an obituary, please email communications@rcem.ac.uk

Obituaries

+ Dr John Gavin Bourdas Thurston

8 April 1937 – 7 July 2021

Dr John Gavin Bourdas Thurston MB who has died age 84, was a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, Fellow of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and Fellow of the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. He was also a member of the UK Register of Expert Witnesses and honorary life member of the British Association for Emergency Medicine.

During five decades of service to the NHS he was the consultant at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton who co-ordinated and worked on major incidents, including the Putney gas explosion in a block of flats (1985) which killed eight and injured dozens, and the Clapham rail crash (1988) which caused 35 deaths as well as many injuries.

With a lifelong passion for sport, particularly rugby union (he disliked what he called soccer) Dr John was one of the founders of the Rosslyn Park Injuries Trust set up in 1981 to help schoolboys injured playing rugby. He requested that in lieu of flowers at his funeral money be sent to the charity.

John Gavin Bourdas was the eldest child of Gavin Thurston (coroner for West London 1956 – 1981 whose cases included the death of Judy Garland, Jimi Hendrix and Lord Lucan’s nanny) and Ione, and brother to his younger sister Mary. He was educated at Haileybury School, Hertford, then followed in his father’s footsteps to undergo medical training at Guy’s Hospital London, graduating in 1961.

He worked at several hospitals at the start of his career, specialising for several years in cardiology at Westminster Hospital. After the closure of Westminster Hospital, he was appointed Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, where he worked until it closed 18 years later.

Dr John, or JT as he was affectionately known by colleagues, then went in the same capacity to West Hill Hospital Dartford, until that closed just three months later and he transferred to Joyce Green Hospital in Dartford, which also subsequently closed. He was delighted to be appointed the first Clinical Director in Emergency Medicine at the new Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford which opened in 2000. On his retirement, aged 70, he said it was a good time to leave as ‘my presence seemed to cause hospitals to ‘circle the drain’’.

During his long career he wrote and contributed to dozens of papers on medical topics, which ranged from carbon monoxide poisoning and the use of hyperbaric oxygen to medical misdiagnosis in accident and emergency departments. He was asked by Holiday Which? Magazine (1996) to produce a review of the inflight medical services of 40 commercial airlines.

John was a member of Mensa and his keen intelligence combined with warmth, charm and humour made him entertaining company. He was compassionate towards and about his patients. He was vehemently opposed to the practice of saying that someone had ‘passed on’, rather than ‘died’ insisting that if you used terms such as ‘I’m sorry we’ve lost your husband’ people would not grasp that their loved one was actually dead. He was a fount of medical funny stories and could often be found propping up the bar of his local pub in the company of friends with a similarly irreverent sense of humour.

Saving lives was a source of pride to him. Once it came with an unexpected benefit when a grateful patient told him quietly, ‘tell me where you live doctor and I’ll make sure you’re never burgled.’

After his retirement he worked as an Expert Witness on several medico-legal cases.

He was the first Honorary Registrar to the College of Emergency Medicine and was also President of the Emergency Medicine Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. As part of these roles, he travelled extensively to conferences all over the world, which he enjoyed immensely. He was the major incident doctor at Twickenham rugby ground for 16 years.

For many years John could be found cheering on his home rugby union team, Rosslyn Park and was honoured to be made President for a term as well as honorary medical officer. He loved the ground so much he held the wedding reception to his third wife, Steph at the clubhouse. He was one of only a handful of non-showbiz people invited to join the entertainment industry charity The Grand Order of Water Rats, appointed as Companion doctor.

John Thurston was married three times, to Felicity (married 1958 divorced 1964), Joy (married 1965, divorced 1985) and Stephanie (married 1986), who survives him. He leaves five children, Georgette, Gavin, Gareth, John and Andrew, a stepson Toby and seven grandchildren. Although London born and bred and passionate about his home city, John and Steph moved to live near Cullompton in Devon after his retirement in 2007.

+ Jeremy Williams

24/11/1961-13/04/2020

Tribute paid to Mr. Jeremy Williams, Consultant in Emergency Medicine West Wales (Glangwili) General Hospital, Carmarthen, during RCEM Wales zoom meeting 22nd April 2020

Good morning everybody, my name is Antony, I am one of the consultants in Emergency Department working at Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest.

Today I want to speak to you about our friend and colleague Mr. Jeremy Williams who passed away recently. He was an exceptional doctor who had left his mark across Wales.

He was an EM (Emergency Medicine) consultant at West Wales Hospital (Glangwili) Carmarthen for approximately 20 years. He was a single handed consultant for majority of that time. He was trained in Wales and was a colleague to some of our friends here.

His work as a Consultant was not simply confined to clinical medicine. Most of those years, he had held leadership role in one form or another. He was unscheduled care lead for Hywel Dda Health board covering four hospitals until recently, when he was forced to step down because of ill health.

My connection with him started about 15-20 years back. I was an SHO working at Withybush at that time. Jeremy was very much involved with teaching and training. If my memory serves me right my first encounter with him was during an ATLS course which he was running.

Many years later, I joined Withybush and Hywel Dda as a consultant. He became my line manager and boss till the very end. I had the opportunity to work with him closely on various service issues through last few years.

We had this chronic issue with recruitment at all levels at our hospital and he used to kindly come and help us with vacant shifts at Withybush Hospital.

Speaking about Jeremy, he was an absolute gentleman and a good colleague. He was always smiley and never said no to anything. He was a very supportive person helping everybody around him.

He was a great communicator and was adored by his patients. He had delivered remarkable service to patients of Pembrokeshire Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

He had been the heart and soul of his unit in Carmarthen and a big cog in the wheel for Hywel Dda. Any issues at anytime, anywhere he was the man to call.

I cannot remember any health board meetings I have attended without his presence. Many of these meetings were thrashing out differences between departments and often stressful. I have never seen Jeremy raising his voice or being ill tempered.

Once I went to Carmarthen to meet him for an official matter. He had just come back from such a difficult meeting. He jokingly told me very soon he is going to get into fist fight with some of these people. But despite these comments he was always calm and composed.

In this era where leadership is demonstrated by exhibiting arrogance and rudeness, his style was a stark contrast. He was calm, gentle and kind, while leading from the front.

Our Health Board relatively has more overseas doctors at junior level than many other institutions. Jeremy always understood them better than anybody else and gave them the help they needed. He was instrumental in nurturing many of them to achieve what they wanted to. Some of them are our colleagues now.

He also had interests outside medicine. He was very much into sports. He loved rugby. He was an official physician for Wales Rugby Union in the past. He also was very much connected with motor sport and offered regular services to the Pembrey race circuit.

It is heart wrenching to see that such an active and loveable person has passed away at such a young age.

I would remember him as an exceptional doctor, who was a perfect gentleman. He was fundamentally kind and helped people around him. He was a standout person who was a true leader and would he be a role model for many.

He is going to be deeply missed.

Thank you.

Dr Antony Mathew
FRCS (Glas), FRCEM
Consultant in Emergency Medicine
Honorary Lecturer Cardiff University
Withybush General Hospital,Haverfordwest

Mr. Jeremy Williams, Consultant in Emergency Medicine & Clinical Lead at Glangwili General Hospital, Carmarthen sadly died on 13 April 2020.

Jeremy worked as Consultant in Accident and Emergency Medicine at West Wales (Glangwili) General Hospital from 1998 until he died.

Jeremy supported, encouraged and mentored trainees, Specialty Doctors and Consultant colleagues and I, and many of my colleagues, owe him an enormous debt for his excellent and generous guidance.

Jeremy was loved and highly valued as a colleague. My first contact with Jeremy was in 1997 when he was Senior Registrar in Emergency Medicine at Morriston Hospital. In 2010 I was appointed as a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Glangwili General Hospital and joined him as a colleague working closely to develop the Specialty and the Department and thereby developed a great friendship. He loved the Specialty. He was a true gentleman, compassionate, professional and skilful in dealing with the complex issues of management in a calm and diligent way.

Jeremy was appointed in 2015 as Clinical Director for Unscheduled care for Hywel Dda University Health Board and was instrumental in developing Emergency Medicine care in all four hospitals in Hywel Dda.

Jeremy was an active Advanced Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support instructor and was actively involved in setting up ALS & ATLS courses in Carmarthen as Course Director.

Jeremy was an excellent Emergency Medicine clinician with a special interest in Sports Medicine.

He had an abundance of energy and still played football for the hospital & local five a side football teams when he was 50 years old. He was an official doctor for the Wales Rugby Union Team in recent years. He was doctor in charge for the Scarlets rugby union team and offered professional services in the Pembrey Motor Race circuit, local horse racing and many golf tournaments.

His untimely death is a huge loss. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues and fellow professionals.

Jeremy is survived by Sonia, his fiancée, and two daughters, Hannah and Claire.

Dr. Lakshman Nangalia
MB BS, MRCP(UK), FRCSEd, FRCEM
Consultant Emergency Medicine & Paediatric Emergency Medicine,
Glangwili General Hospital Carmarthen

+ Manjeet Riyat

04/12/1967 to 20/04/2020

Manjeet RiyatManjeet Riyat, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Royal Derby Hospital, sadly died on 20 April 2020. RCEM Vice President, Mrs Lisa Munro-Davies pays tribute.

Dr Manjeet Riyat, a Consultant in the Emergency Department at Royal Derby Hospital, died on 20 April 2020. A life cut short by Coronavirus and a dear friend and colleague lost all too soon.

>Manjeet is survived by his wife and two sons. Family meant all to Manjeet and he was fiercely proud of his family. His loss is also mourned by his many friends and colleagues from the world of Emergency Medicine both in the UK and overseas and, by all at RCEM who had the good fortune to work alongside him over the many years that he contributed to and later led on essential College activities within education and examinations.

In 2007 Manjeet was appointed as an Examiner for the RCEM. Over the 13 years that ensued he consistently contributed to the numerous diets of both the Membership and Fellowship examinations, undertaking the full range of commitments that this role demands. Always to the highest of standards, with absolute professionalism and unwavering fairness, Manjeet was a veritable stalwart amongst the College examiners and a hugely popular figure. Always with a positive outlook and good humour, focussed on ensuring that every consideration possible be given to support the candidates who he recognised as our future colleagues and the lifeblood of EM. These things mattered to Manjeet.

As of autumn 2014, Manjeet took up a post as a Senior Examiner with RCEM. He wanted to build on his existing experience and extend his contribution further in this regard. He had a passion for training and supporting young colleagues in developing their skills and careers and he used the role to the full to do this both for the benefit of RCEM and his own trainees.

In 2016 I was delighted to hand on the role of Lead Examiner for the Fellowship Examination to Manjeet. Having worked alongside him for several years in this capacity I knew that he was the ‘right man for the job’. His wish to support and develop others along with a constantly enquiring mind, sharp intellect and fierce focus on absolute fairness in all made him well qualified to face the challenge. I knew that the Fellowship, the candidates, the other examiners and RCEM were in safe hands with Manjeet at the helm.

His untimely loss is a tragedy. He will be greatly missed by many and the world of Emergency Medicine is a poorer place without him.

Dr Lisa Munro-Davies
Vice President, The Royal College of Emergency Medicine

In RCEMLearning’s latest podcast RCEM Vice Presidents, Lisa Munro-Davies and Carole Gavin, and RCEM Dean, Jason Long remember Manjeet. You can listen to it here.

Susanne Hewitt, Manjeet’s colleague at Royal Derby Hospital on his life and career:

Mr Manjeet Singh Riyat qualified from the University of Leicester in 1992 and went on to train in Emergency Medicine at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Lincoln County Hospital. During this time, and prior to the introduction of paramedics, he acted as team leader for the Accident Flying Squads at both hospitals. Manjeet was also one of the first Clinical Research Fellows in the UK and contributed to the birth of academic Emergency Medicine.

In 2003, Manjeet became one four Consultants in Emergency Medicine at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary and was the first person from the Sikh community to be appointed as an Emergency Medicine Consultant in the UK.

Manjeet became Head of Service for the Emergency Department in 2006 and made particular contributions to clinical governance and patient safety. Manjeet also played a significant role as part of the Trust consultant body through his appointment as Deputy Chair and later Chair of both the Medical Advisory and Medical Staffing committees.

Manjeet’s passion for teaching and contribution to medical education was a constant thread during his career. As Derby College Tutor for Emergency Medicine, he oversaw the training of junior doctors from multiple specialties in the Emergency Department. Manjeet also spent 17 years serving as an educational supervisor to dozens of regional Emergency Medicine trainees and took particular pride in his work supporting trainees in difficulty for the Deanery.

Manjeet was an active Advanced Life Support, Advanced Paediatric Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support instructor and was instrumental in setting up ALS courses in Derby as Course Director.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine appointed Manjeet as a College Examiner in 2007. His talent and commitment to high standards resulted in him being appointed as Senior Examiner in 2014 and then Lead Examiner for the FRCEM examination in 2016.

Despite his many achievements, Manjeet was most at home as a highly visible shop floor Emergency Medicine Consultant. He was consistently generous with his remarkable clinical knowledge to everyone in the team. He had that rare gift of maintaining constant joy in the intellectual challenge of clinical medicine combined with gentle kindness and compassion for his patients. He was a powerful advocate for the sickest patients and was well known for his fair, no-nonsense approach. By contrast, Manjeet could be relied upon to lift the mood with his dry humour and sense of fun.

Manjeet was enormously valued and much loved as a colleague, supervisor and mentor as well as for his wise council and discreet support in tough times. For many, Manjeet was considered the father of the current Emergency Department in Derby and many more will reflect on how his inspiration has shaped their own careers.

Finally, Manjeet was fiercely proud of his wife and two sons and often shared the achievements and exploits of the boys with equal good humour. He always kept sight of what is really important in life and set an example by living life in keeping with his high standards and strong values. He will be hugely missed.

Miss Susanne Hewitt
MBE MBChB(Hons) FRCS FRCEM
Consultant Emergency Medicine
Royal Derby Hospital

Channel 4 News: Leading Sikh A&E consultant dies after contracting coronavirus

+ Dr Edmond Adedeji

Sadly, the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has today announcing the death of Dr Edmond Adedeji. The thoughts of all our staff are with Edmond’s family, friends, and his colleagues.

Dr Katherine Henderson President of RCEM said: “Doctors like Dr Adedeji are the backbone of many Emergency departments up and down the country, hard working frontline doctors delivering care to their patients. We are grateful for his service and are so sad for his family and his colleagues.”

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Chief Executive Kevin McNamara said:

“It gives me great sadness to announce the death of a member of our GWH family.
Dr Edmond Adedeji, a locum registrar in the Emergency Department, died on Wednesday 8 April, aged 62. He was being cared for in the Intensive Care Unit having tested positive for COVID-19.
Dr Adedeji had worked with us a locum registrar in the Emergency Department since August 2019 and was a respected and well-liked member of the team.
His family have been informed and we ask that their privacy is respected at this extremely difficult time.
On behalf of the whole Trust, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to Edmond’s family. Our thoughts are with them, and his friends and colleagues at the Trust.”

Dr Adedeji’s family released the following statement:

“We as a family are grateful to God for the life of Dr Edmond Adefolu Adedeji. He died doing a job he loved, serving others before himself. We would like to thank the staff and his colleagues for looking after him during his final days. He leaves behind a wife, three children and three grandchildren.”

+ Alicia Pylypzcuk

04/12/1990 – 24/02/2020

It is with great sorrow and overwhelming sadness that I have to announce the death of a colleague and close personal friend of mine Alicia Pylypczuk, who passed away on the 24th February 2020 aged just 29. Alicia leaves behind her fabulous mother Cheryl Pylypczuk and supportive stepfather Alan, adoring sisters Anna and Claire, her doting brothers Alex and Jan, her niece and nephews Rex, Lola and Lewis and many, many other friends and family for whom Alicia was an integral part of their lives.

Alicia was born in Bury, Manchester on the 4th December 1990. Growing up she had both a passion and a talent for music, playing the cello in several orchestras. Through her dedication and hard work she achieved the position of lead Cellist in the Junior Royal Northern College of Music and toured across the country performing at the highest standard. However, it was science and in particular medicine, that would become her true passion.

Alicia gained a place at Manchester medical school where she excelled both professionally and socially. She remained in the Manchester area when she took her first postgraduate jobs working across the region in multiple different hospitals and departments before eventually deciding that she wanted to pursue a career in emergency medicine. She was never one to back away from a challenge, fiercely hard working and a fantastic team player, and it became obvious that she was on the road to become an amazing emergency medicine physician.

But sadly she was never destined to complete her training and fulfill her true and full potential. Her life was tragically cut short leaving so many unanswered questions and dreams left unrealised. However, even though her time with us was short, it was hugely meaningful. She had a big impact on those around her. She had an unwavering sense of fairness and equality of which she was passionate and vocal about, as well as a fun loving nature and thirst for life. Her actions, her beliefs, her morals, shaped those around her and made them better for having known her. She was uniquely fantastic and will be truly missed.

Dr Yasmin Woods, Mbch, DTMH
Emergency Medicine Trainee

She Let Go
She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.
By: Rev Safire Ros

+ Jonathan Marrow

03/06/1944 to 26/08/2019

Jonathan Marrow, former Vice President of the College of Emergency and Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Arrowe Park hospital, sadly died on 26 August 2019. Dr Gautam Bodiwala pays tribute.

My first contact with Jonathan was in late seventies when he was Clinical Assistant in A&E at the Hull Royal Infirmary. It was not until we met on a regular basis and worked closely on the Specialist Advisory Committee (SAC in A&E) in the mid nineties that we developed a friendship. He served the specialty well as secretary of the SAC in A&E and Joint Committee on Higher Training in A&E (JCHTA&E). During this period, I realised his compassion, strong work ethic, professionalism and above all his skill in dealing with complicated issues of training with humanity and passion.

Jonathan’s entry in medicine was certainly not a predetermined and calculated career move although he said once that the contrasting texts of Albert Schweitzer’s ‘On the edge of the primeval forest’ and ‘Doctor in the House’ offered him some insight into medical practice. Prior to that he considered the practice of law as some of his teachers recommended, since he demonstrated fluency in spoken and written English. In the end it was truly idealism that tipped his decision in favour of medicine, specifically to give service as a doctor in Africa initially working in Botswana.

At the interview for a place at the Medical School in Cambridge, he said he did not fancy looking down people’s throat all day – to a Professor of Dentistry – when he was asked why he chose medicine and not dentistry! His chance meeting with Angela, his first wife, made up his mind to go to UCH for medical training in spite of the opportunity to go to Cambridge which would have pleased his father a lot! Jonathan graduated in Medicine in 1968, followed by receiving the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1978.

Jonathan served as Consultant in Accident and Emergency Medicine at Arrowe Park from 1980 till he retired in 2004 from clinical practice. His passion for the specialty of Emergency Medicine led to a number of important roles – with BAEM as Chair of the Clinical Services Committee, Chair of JCHT in A&E and then Vice President of both the Faculty of A&E Medicine and the College of Emergency Medicine. After retiring Jonathan continued in an honorary role as the first archivist of the College, reviewing historic records and planning how best to preserve them so that the history of the College is available to all.

Jonathan was a man who exhibited professionalism, wisdom and above all respect for his fellow human beings. He was much loved and admired.

Jonathan is survived by Clari his second wife of 43 years, one son, four daughters and seven grand children.

Gautam Bodiwala, CBE, DL, JP
DSc (HON), MS, FRCS, FRCP, FRCEM, FIFEM

+ Adel Aziz

11/01/1961 to 03/01/2020

Adel Aziz, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Southampton General Hospital, sadly died on 3 January 2020. Former RCEM President, Dr John Heyworth pays tribute.

Adel Aziz, Associate Specialist in the Emergency Department at University Hospital Southampton, died on 3 January 2020 following a brief illness borne with immense courage and characteristic dignity.

Adel is survived by his wife Amany and his children Sarah and Ahmed. He also leaves a legacy of truly remarkable achievement in Emergency Medicine in the UK and internationally, particularly in Egypt.

Adel’s outstanding contribution to Emergency Medicine was reflected in the award in 2019 of both the Royal College of Emergency Medicine medal and Honorary Fellowship of RCEM – an indication of the highest level of esteem in which Adel is held by his friends and colleagues in Emergency Medicine.

In November 2019 Adel was presented with the College medal in a ceremony held in the Emergency Department in Southampton with an audience of over 200 friends and colleagues from the hospital – it was a quite extraordinary outpouring of emotion and affection for Adel. In December 2019 the certificate of Honorary Fellowship was presented to Sarah and Ahmed Aziz by the President at the RCEM Diploma ceremony in London. Adel was profoundly moved by these important acknowledgements of his work in Emergency Medicine. The two ceremonies illustrated the level of gratitude for Adel’s work but also the love and respect for Adel’s personal support for colleagues over many years. It was typical of Adel’s modest and understated approach that much of the work he undertook supporting SAS doc-tors in Wessex and in the UK only became more generally known in recent months indicated by the astonishing numbers of visitors wishing to convey their thanks.

Adel’s impressive portfolio included work locally, nationally and internationally. In Wessex, Adel was the first Training Programme Director for SAS doctors, the SAS clinical tutor and led the Associate Specialist Forum. Nationally, Adel was chair of FASSGEM from 2014 – 2017 and organised a series of highly successful FASSGEM conferences. Internationally, Adel led on the development of Emergency Medicine and trauma care in Egypt and organised the International Trauma Series conferences in Cairo attracting celebrity Emergency Medicine speakers from around the world.

Adel encouraged, supported and mentored trainees and Consultant colleagues in all special-ties and many of us owe him a great debt for his generous and unselfish guidance. His gracious, patient and inclusive style has been an example to us all; in potentially challenging conversations we ask each other ‘what would Adel say?’ His courtesy in all situations remains legendary. His legacy of compassionate kindness will live on in all of us who have had the gift of working with him.

He is greatly missed.

John Heyworth and the UHS ED team

+ Clifford Mann OBE

Clifford Mann

22/06/1962 – 20/02/2021

It is with deep sorrow that the Royal College of Emergency Medicine announces the death of its former President, Dr Clifford Mann OBE.

Dr Mann died peacefully at home with his wife Rhona, and two daughters by his side. He had been nursed 24/7 in the last few days by nurses from his own department.

RCEM President, Dr Katherine Henderson said: “Cliff has been an inspiration to so many in Emergency Medicine and beyond. During his Presidency of RCEM his charm and determination opened doors everywhere and pulled Emergency Medicine into the spotlight.

“He was a medical leader who was always looking for pragmatic solutions to even the most wicked problems, committed to driving positive change in patient care and staff experience. He mentored many of us and helped us translate concern into active engagement and action.

“He will be missed immensely by all of us that have worked with him over the years. Our thoughts are with his family and close colleagues in Taunton. The EM world has lost a powerful advocate and a true friend, the NHS has lost a talented leader whose energy and integrity was deeply valued.”

Dr Mann was a leading figure in Emergency Medicine, having been President of The Royal College of Emergency Medicine between 2013 and 2016, and formerly College Registrar between 2010 and 2013.

Dr Mann’s work helped shaped the specialty and after demitting as RCEM President he continued to work to improve care for patients in his roles at NHS England and NHS Improvement, where he was National Clinical Advisor for Urgent and Emergency Care.

Throughout his national work he continued to practice as a consultant in emergency medicine at the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

He was appointed an Officer of the Order (OBE) in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list for services to Emergency Medicine.

Chief Executive of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Gordon Miles said: “Cliff was an exemplary College Registrar and President, I found him an eloquent, wise, and warm man, an inspirational and insightful leader, a pleasure to work with. I know he was highly respected by his professional colleagues and was also held in warm esteem by all of us who work at RCEM. He combined professionalism with geniality and will be missed immensely.

“A father of two, but a father figure to many others, Cliff worked tirelessly as RCEM President to improve patient care, College processes and the working lives of clinicians. He leaves behind a legacy of excellence.”

“He was rightly proud of his specialty and the work of his colleagues, and he had been deeply impressed by how Emergency Medicine and the NHS continued to respond to the pandemic.”

“As well as among the specialty, he was immensely popular among College staff; taking the time to talk to everyone and charm us with his sense of humour. We were honoured to have had him as our President, and I am proud to be able to have called him a friend.”

“A light has gone out in the specialty where the lights are always on, and we are immensely saddened by his tragic loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”

A tribute to Dr Cliff Mann

Tributes & Media

Memorial Event (12 November 2021)

Today (12 November) a memorial event has been held for the late Dr Clifford Mann OBE.

Dr Mann was NHS National Clinical Director for Urgent and Emergency Care and joined NHS England and NHS Improvement in 2016 following several years as President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

During his time in senior national leadership roles at NHS England and NHS Improvement, Dr Mann worked passionately to improve the treatment of all patients who need urgent and emergency care. He played a key role in the development of new clinical standards for urgent and emergency care. ​He also spearheaded the rollout of Same Day Emergency Care – a new model of urgent care which continues to enable many thousands of patients get the right tests and treatments quickly, reducing the need for people to be admitted to hospital.

Throughout his career, Dr Mann continued to practice as a consultant in emergency medicine at the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, and was appointed an Officer of the Order (OBE) in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list for services to emergency medicine.

Several of Dr Mann’s former colleagues attended today’s service, including Rachel Vokes, Interim Deputy Director of Urgent and Emergency Care Transformation, Mark England, former Deputy National Director for Urgent and Emergency Care, Marc Thomas, Director of Policy for Emergency and Elective Care, Sarah Duncan, our Head of Clinical Policy, Pauline Philip, our National Director for Emergency and Elective Care and Keith Willett, our National Director for Emergency Planning and Incident Response.

Rachel Vokes said:

“I had the great good fortune of working alongside Cliff for many years both at Musgrove Park and NHS England. As a colleague he was wise, insightful, visionary and an outstanding doctor. As a friend he was a lot of fun with a wicked sense of humour, more often aimed at himself.

He had an incredible ability to make everyone feel special whether you met him once or a hundred times and because of that he is missed everyday by all of us.

He was quite simply the best.”

Pauline Philip said:

“We miss Cliff’s wisdom, expertise and tremendous commitment to patient safety everyday. As a team we are working tirelessly to deliver his vision, he is our guiding star.”

Mark England said:

“Cliff was such an authentic leader, with deep compassion, integrity and enthusiasm. Like so many I treasure time spent working with him, and will always reflect when facing a challenge, on what would have been his so freely given advice. He lives on in the positive impact he had on so many of us.”

Marc Thomas said:

“Cliff’s contribution to emergency medicine was immense. But I, and I know many of my colleagues, will most miss his everyday humour, wisdom, insight and compassion. He brought a patient focus to everything he did. He leaves a huge hole.”

Professor Sir Keith Willett said:

“Cliff was a remarkable professional and clinical leader and revered by his emergency medicine colleagues and all those he worked with. Principled and determined – the standards of care for patients and their experience was unquestionably his single motivation and his personality carried his profession with him.

The College flourished under his presidency to Royal appointment and in his NHS England role he passionately drove transformation for the future. I taught Cliff at Charing Cross Hospital when he was a medical student and it was an immense privilege to work alongside him again in recent years.”

Sarah Duncan, said:

“I knew Cliff in my early career as a physiotherapist in Taunton. Despite his relative seniority he always had time for teaching and engaging with junior members of the team. He was ahead of his time in his enthusiasm to adopt new ways of working to make Taunton and Somerset hospitals A&E as effective as it could be for patients, and had an enduringly positive outlook despite the number of hours he had been working the night before.

In later years when I met him again in his role as the National Clinical Advisor for Urgent and Emergency Care, his enthusiasm to adopt a better way of doing things was undimmed, only now he could direct his passion and energy to improve urgent and emergency care for patients on a much bigger scale, and did so with insight, humour and humanity. The NHS has lost a capable leader, a talented doctor and a lovely person.”

Steve Powis, our National Medical Director, also added:

“Cliff was revered by all he worked with, as an outstanding medic, and as a compassionate leader who passed on his skills, experience and – most importantly – his focus on the quality of care patients receive in what is often the most worrying moments of their lives.

He is sorely missed as a superb colleague who, in all cases, would give the unvarnished view of frontline clinicians working in A&E, and it is exactly that candour and determination to improve patient care which enabled him to make such a difference, and for which he will be remembered.”

The memorial Service & Tributes – November 2021

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+ David Williams

Dr David Williams was the first President of the Faculty of Accident and Emergency Medicine which ultimately has become the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. His name is the first on our College chain of office: Dr David Williams 1993 – 1996. Becoming a Faculty meant that the new specialty of Accident and Emergency Medicine could determine its own future and move out from its parent Royal Colleges home. He made sure the relationship remained strong and we continue to benefit from RCoA and RCP presence on our Council.  Dr Williams was also the Clinical Director of the Emergency department at St Thomas’ Hospital London and retired after being a A&E Consultant for 28 years.  As well as advancing the specialty in the UK, David was one of the founders of the European Society for Emergency Medicine (EUSEM). He was the first President of the then new Section of Emergency Medicine of the Union Europeanne des Medicines Specialistes (UEMS).

David Williams has been a central figure in the development of the specialty. His ability to bring people together has created strong professional bodies which advocate for both clinicians and patients. He was a great boss, mentor and friend to many of us in the specialty today. He will be greatly missed.

David’s Thanksgiving service – Eulogy

Good afternoon, my name is Taj Hassan. I am a consultant in Emergency Medicine and past President of the RCEM and someone like all of you here today who was very fond of David.
It is an honour and a privilege to share with you reflections about David and his contributions to our specialty.

All of us would agree that David was a visionary who was instrumental in building the ‘road of Emergency Medicine’ that we are so fortunate to walk upon today. I hope I can do justice to an amazing man in these next few minutes.

I want to share memories of David with you under three themes: his achievements, his personal attributes, and the legacy he leaves behind.

David’s achievements

David was born in Cheshire, graduated from Cambridge and St Thomas’ and was an Asst GP in 1972 when an advert in the BMJ caught his eye!
An opportunity arose to become the first Consultant in A&E at the Middlesex as part of the first group of 32 Consultants in A&E in the UK – an experiment by the Dept of Health to gauge if it was sensible to have dedicated people caring for patients in their time of greatest need in an emergency.
It is reasonable to suggest it was one of their best decisions of the last 50 years!

I will use the word first often!

He grabbed the opportunity and was the first A&E consultant at the Middlesex and then moved to St Thomas’ in 1984 to be the first A&E consultant there too!
In 1987, he became the President of the Casualty Surgeons’ Association and within a short period had decided with a small group of others to form a Future Strategies Group – a first.
Thus began the long journey to navigate the complex diplomatic quagmire with six Royal Colleges to support the formation of an intercollegiate Faculty of A&E Medicine. In the midst of which the CSA became the British Association for A&E Medicine (BAEM), a proposal put forward by David.

The path to success was filled with beartraps – nobody had ever developed an Intercollegiate faculty-  but it was David, supported by a small group including David Yates, Gautam Bodiwala, John Thurston, Keith Little and others who formed the Future Strategies Group and successfully navigated through to the creation of the Faculty of A&E Medicine on 2nd November 1993.

A proud moment indeed for the specialty and especially so as David was chosen to be the new Faculty’s first President.

The first specialty examinations were held in 1995. There were 4 ‘willing’ volunteers that day and indeed I was one of those four – we were honoured to be part of history…and even more honoured and grateful that we somehow passed!
Since then of course much water has flowed under the bridge!

I have been asking colleagues in recent days to describe David in 3-4 words and there were many rich descriptions that stood out.

Keith Little, a past President talked of him being erudite, articulate and a diplomat.

Gautam Bodiwala, an original member of the Future Strategies Group and Past President of IFEM describes him as being a visionary, strategist, and diplomat par excellence.

Prof David Yates, the first Dean of the Faculty, notes charming and erudite in his description.

Chris Cutting, a past President of BAEM spoke of his tenacity, patience and humour.

Jim Wardrope, past President of the College described him as being shrewd, self effacing and a true diplomat.

Ed Glucksman, a past College Vice President and for many years a close friend and colleague in London noted that if there was a Mt Rushmore for EM in the UK, David’s face would be the George Washington equivalent!

David stepped down as Faculty President in 1997 and retired as Clinical Director of Guy’s and St Thomas’ EDs in 2000.

And that career would be a life fully lived for anyone and certainly any of us here today.

But not David Williams!
In the background during the early 1990s he had been helping colleagues in Europe and supported the development of a European Society of EM (EuSEM) in 1994. In 2004 he succeeded Prof Herman Delooz as its President.

Prof Delooz from Belgium said of David last week:
His experience as a leader for EM in the UK and his great gift for diplomacy, were of utmost importance for the creation and the development of the EuSEM and our acceptance as a specialty in UEMS (the key regulatory body for medical education in Europe).
For me he became a dear friend and companion and for EuSEM he has been the key person in leading us to the stability it has reached.
David, I will miss your spirit and charm!

When David took over EuSEM in 2004, the specialty of EM was recognised as a primary specialty in only 3 European countries.
Following his Presidency, David was Chairman of the UEMS Multidisciplinary Joint Committee (MJC) on Emergency Medicine from 2006-2012 and was the first President of the new Section of Emergency Medicine of UEMS, the Union Europeenne des Medecins Specialistes.
Today Europe has over 30 countries where EM is recognised as a specialty.

The present EuSEM President, Prof Abdo Khoury from France wrote..
David was one of the founding fathers of our Society and a man of vision and principles. He fought hard for EM in Europe and we owe him for the recognition of the specialty by the European bodies in 2005.

Let’s move on to personal attributes!

The great Maya Angelou said…
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel!

David Williams was a remarkable man because how he made you feel was indeed very special!
What he said was invariably brimming with wit and wisdom and left you often chuckling and reflecting.
What he did surpassed the cumulative achievements of many around him and positively influenced so many peoples lives.

Katherine Henderson, current President of the Royal College, who unfortunately could not be here today said ..
David was my first Emergency Medicine boss at St Thomas’, a friend, trainer and a pivotal inspiration for my career culminating in me becoming President of RCEM.
After my parents he was the first person I wanted to tell. He had an uncanny way of asking the key question (clinical or strategic).  I am deeply grateful for all his support and in awe of how much he achieved for Emergency Medicine.

Julian Webb, another of his ex-Registrars also noted how at interview he was made to sit in a cosy armchair and felt quite at ease in David’s company until a probing question was slipped in laced with charm and kindness.

Kimon Bizos a senior trainee at the time noted about the early years..
St Thomas’s was becoming busier and he as the only Consultant was being called to return to the department to help with long waits more frequently.
I had asked him for a bleep to be on call, but he realised the dangers of this and declined, preferring to be on call alone himself and then asking me to help when he considered it necessary.

Other words that have flowed about him….

Gentleman, Wise, Kind, Pioneer, Humble, Clever, Inspiring, Witty, Charming, Prepared, Astute.

But how did they combine in key moments of his life?

In his inaugural speech to win over the 6 parent Royal Colleges and their powerful sceptical Presidents in 1993, it is said that…
David spent the first five minutes of that historic speech, where he welcomed the presidents of the six colleges to which the fledgling faculty was to be attached, by considering the order in which he should address them. Was it to be in order of their college’s year of foundation?; their alphabetical order?; the alphabetical order of the names of the current presidents?; perhaps their age? ; or their height? His fastidious research had shown that all these possibilities pointed to the same conclusion!

A true David and Goliath moment !

What he did do with his charm, wit and oratory was to disarm them and smooth the path to success.

His legacy

Albert Einstein said
Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile

David was a man who lived for so many of us.
From being one of the first 32 in 1972, now almost 50 years later, there are almost 3000 consultants and over 10,000 members of the RCEM.
From leading the CSA and the Faculty over 30 years ago we have a Royal College where our training programmes and exams are respected and recognised in many countries around the world.

We have the David Williams lecture at the RCEM which came into being when he retired as a tribute to his vital contributions.

Our Royal College has flourished not just in the UK but in many parts of the world and David Williams was truly instrumental in that amazing journey In Europe, as mentioned above, he led the process that allowed the specialty to expand from 3 countries to more than 30 that now recognise Emergency Medicine.

Tomorrow I am flying to Lisbon for the EuSEM Congress and I know there are a number of activities in his memory being planned.

George Bernard Shaw said
Life is no brief candle. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

David held a very bright torch!
He made his achievements look so easy and effortless and one could gently glide and be entranced by a conversation with David into doing the right thing.

So….

Thank you David for your humility, dedication and the torch that you held burning brightly and have passed on so we may see what went before and be inspired by you!
Thank you too for choosing our specialty to apply your remarkable talents.
You were instrumental in building the road of EM that we are lucky enough to walk upon.

Lastly Thank you Ann and your lovely family for sharing him with us  …and

for the honour and privilege to say a few words about a truly remarkable man!

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