"I have been very privileged to have worked in the NHS for nearly 6 decades" - Clatterbridge Consultant celebrates 75th birthday as the NHS also marks the milestone

Posted 4th July 2023

My career in the NHS started in July 1965 when I was employed as an Operating Theatre and Ward Orderly at a hospital in Yorkshire.That was 58 years ago and I have been a dedicated employee of the NHS since then.

I studied medicine at St Mary’s Hospital London, now part of Imperial College, graduating in 1973.

At the time, oncologists didn’t tend to specialise in a specific type of cancer as they do now – I am a firm believer in the current model of a specialised approach in oncology practise. However I did enjoy the broad spectrum of medical specialities that oncology covered in the earlier part of my career. This helped develop my interest in many areas of oncology including breast cancer, head and neck cancer, urology, sarcomas and ocular tumours in and around the eye.

I came to work at what is now The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in 1983.At that time an international clinical trial had been set up to look into the possible benefits of a form of radiotherapy called neutron therapy. During this involvement with the clinical trial I also developed a general oncology practice.

On completion of the neutron trials, that unfortunately did not show any improvement in patient outcomes, I was part of the team that developed the use of The Clatterbridge Cyclotron to use Proton Beam radiotherapy for the treatment of ocular tumours. This work started in 1989 and continues to this day.

For several years I was involved in various roles with The Royal College of Radiologists including the training programme for graduates specialising in Clinical Oncology.

In the 40 years I have worked at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre I have been involved of the care of 25,000 new patient referrals and 193,000 review consultations.

I am still working full time and in recent years have specialised in the care of Breast cancer patients. It is the interaction with patients and close colleagues that helped me keep going for so long.

I have recently celebrated my 75th birthday and retirement beckons. It will be good to spend more time at home in North Wales with my family.I have been very privileged to have worked in the NHS for nearly 6 decades. I will miss patients and colleagues who have been such an inspiration and a motivating force over so many years.