Getting to know Doncaster’s new Clinical Chair:
Where are you from originally?
I’m a bit of a nomad really! I was born in Germany, son of a soldier, and both my parents are of Scottish origin. We moved around a lot when I was a child but I was mainly brought up in military bases in Germany, Cyprus and the UK.
What made you want to work for the health service and become a GP?
I wasn’t ready to leave school at 16, so I did A Levels. At some point I went to a careers fair, filled out a questionnaire and doctor came up as an option. Something about the profession struck me and I wanted to do it. At the time my school were doubtful and said I needed to think of something else but I enjoyed taking on the challenge.
After this I decided to apply for medicine and got my place. I found the first two years of university difficult, but after the patient interaction it just clicked and I haven’t looked back. I enjoyed every speciality of medicine but ended up being a GP as a result of the time I spent in the army.
When did you join the Armed Forces?
After I graduated from Leeds University in 1994 I joined the Royal Army Medical Corp and ended up serving for seven years. During my time I attained the rank of Major and served in a number of overseas detachments including: Botswana, Kosovo, Morocco, Belize, Canada, Cyprus and Germany.
What’s been your proudest achievement whilst working in the NHS?
Since 2001 I have enjoyed my time working in Doncaster (Bentley Surgery) immensely, but if I had to pick something specific? It would probably be working on improving end of life care, locally, regionally across Yorkshire and also inputting nationally. It’s such an important, and also sensitive, time for people and their families and I find working to improve end of life services to be really important.
What do you hope to achieve as Clinical Chair?
I’m particularly passionate about providing the best service for all patients in the borough. It’s my driving ambition to reduce inequality so that everybody has access to the same high quality care.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I have a few hobbies but I particularly enjoy skiing with my son (12 years old) and partner. I’m a pretty active person and as such I’m into my sport such as running (I have completed nine marathons) and I love cycling both as a leisure activity and as a spectator. I’m also a keen traveller and enjoy seeing different places and cultures throughout the world. I’ve been lucky enough that I’ve trekked to Everest Basecamp, while I’ve also reached the summit of quite a few mountains in my time such as: Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Mount Toubkal (Morocco) and Mount Kinabalu (Borneo).