Archive | Obituaries

Tribute: Mark Bloch

mbMany of Scotland’s rural GPs will have benefited from the wonderful teaching skills of Dr Mark Bloch, who died on Saturday 18th October, 2014.  A passionate provider of prehospital care in his home town of Aberdeen, he also helped to encourage and enthuse many participants of BASICS Scotland‘s prehospital care courses.  A respected teacher, clinician and strategist, Mark was involved in a wealth of activities; he was a man in demand and yet had the knack of remaining approachable, fun and personable.

My principal memory of Mark is lying with him in a muddy ditch during a practice extrication of a casualty, whilst stabilising the casualty’s cervical spine during a PHECC Course at Douneside, Aberdeenshire.  He had the credibility of someone who had lain in many muddy ditches ‘for real’, with the sorts of tips and tricks to ensure optimum casualty care that only comes with experience.  Sometimes experts can seem remote, but Mark had an ability to become an engaging mentor during teaching.  It was clear that instructing was a role that Mark loved.  That softly-spoken Zimbabwean voice, which somehow seemed incongruent to his level of clinical acumen, combined well with his practical thinking: I can easily imagine the empathy and sensitivity that this would bring to a real-life prehospital incident.

Mark had seen lots, from young children involved in serious road accidents, to incidents where, perhaps frustratingly, the focus of care turns away from ABCDE and more towards ensuring comfort and dignity.  His determination to provide quality prehospital care is something that many of us can associate with; along with the underlying concern that switching off-call for a night might lead to regret the next day, and yet striving for some level of work-life balance.


Mark, second from the left, with other founders of the Sandpiper Trust Farmer’s First Aid Course

Mark progressed from Milton High School in Zimbabwe to do medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.  After training, he had a consultant post at the Groote Schur Hospital before moving over to a consultant post at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital.  It was during this time that he developed his interest in simulation training and the non-technical skills now referred to as ‘team resource management’.  This interest has continued since his move to Aberdeen in 2005.

Aside from Mark’s BASICS Scotland activity, his work showed he was at the top of his game:  Consultant Anaesthetist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, and the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital; Clinical Lead for Bond Helicopters and Jigsaw SARH;  Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Aberdeen University; and active member of the Grampian Immediate Care Scheme, which also saw the recent introduction of the prehospital response car based at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.  In 2012 Mark was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contribution to emergency care in Scotland.

The immediate sense of loss felt by Mark’s confrères in BASICS Scotland – and the wider circles of prehospital and emergency medicine – is clear to see by the number of tributes on Facebook and Twitter. There will be many others who have shared a muddy ditch with Mark, and benefited from his enthusiasm for prehospital care.  We are so sorry to see that enthusiasm cut so tragically short.

Our thoughts are with his family at this time.


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Rachel Weldon

Rachel Weldon, Rural GP

The rural general practice community – and beyond – will be deeply saddened by the news that Rachel Weldon, GP for the Isle of Eigg, was found dead on Wednesday 2nd May.

Rachel provided the GP service to Eigg, Muck, Rum and Canna on the West Coast of Scotland for over ten years.  With geography necessitating a RIB powerboat for her rounds, she worked in one of the remotest locations possible.  She was a contributor to the RPAS group for many years, including attending conferences on a regular basis.

Her unique job situation featured in a BBC Radio 4 series “GPs who need GPS” by Dr Phil Hammond in June last year.

A news story regarding her death has been published by The Scotsman.

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Claudio Carosino: remembered

carosino4The news of the death of Dr Claudio Carosino, family doctor in Bussetto (Parma, Italy), has shocked the rural health community.  Dr Carosino, was shot whilst conducting a house visit to one of his patients on Sunday at 5.30pm.

Active in many roles, including chair of the EURIPA research group, he was known as a remarkable and delightful man who oozed enthusiasm, and touched the working lives of many doctors across Europe and beyond.  Just two weeks ago, he chaired the EURIPA meeting with Dr John Wynn-Jones at the 16th WONCA Europe conference in Malaga.

If you wish to leave a tribute to Dr Carosino, please do so in the comments area below.  We express our condolences to friends and family, and shock at the tragic circumstances of his death.

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Dr John MacLeod: A Tribute

The following “Tribute from the Medical Profession” was given at Dr MacLeod’s Memorial Service, in Glasgow University Chapel on January 16th, by Dr John Wynn-Jones.

John Macleod: 1935-2009

Ladies and gentleman, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lorna and the family for giving me the great honour of saying a few words on behalf of many about one of the most important doctors and role models of my professional life (and that of many other’s professional lives) . We all have our own stories and memories of John and I think that the measure of the man was in his ability to be many things to many people. Continue Reading →

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Memorial Service for Dr John MacLeod

News just in that a memorial service will be held for Dr John MacLeod at Glasgow University Chapel, this Saturday 16th January at 2pm.  If you wish to attend, but are unable to be in Glasgow, you can join the service via live webcam – follow this link.

Dr MacLeod was a remarkable pioneer for rural general practice.  RuralGP reported on his death back in September, and a eulogy and obituary by Dr Jim Douglas were also published.  The WONCA and EURIPA networks – of which Dr MacLeod was a founding member – will be represented at the service by Dr Douglas and Dr John Wynn-Jones.

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Dr John Macleod: Eulogy

Dr James Douglas, a GP in Fort William, made the following eulogy speech at Dr Macleod’s funeral.  He has kindly given his permission for this to be made available here.

Dr John MacLeod 1935 – 2009

I first met John and Lorna in 1977 when I came to North Uist as a young doctor on the University of Aberdeen diving expedition. John made it his business to seek out the expedition campsite and offered us help and hospitality. He remained my friend and mentor until his unexpected death last week at the age of 74. Like so many people in this community, in this country and around the world he gave me friendship, support, advice and hospitality over the following 32 years. He was always a loyal friend and generous with his time. He always looked for and encouraged the best in people.

All of us hear today will have known John in different personal and professional ways.

John parents came to Lochmaddy in 1932 as the family doctors. He was born hear and contributed to community life right up until his death. That’s 77 years of McLeod service to this community, which he was deeply proud of and was recognised last year during the celebration of 60 years of the NHS in Scotland with an exhibition at the Chambers Street museum on the families work for rural health. Continue Reading →

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Dr John MacLeod: Obituary

The following obituary has been contributed by Dr James Douglas, a GP in Fort William.  Dr Douglas also spoke at Dr Macleod’s recent funeral, and the eulogy which he wrote for this will be published on RuralGP in the next few days.


1935 –2009

Dr John Macleod and his father before him served the Hebridean island community of North Uist for 77 years. His death marks the ending of an iconic style of UK rural general practice. He had an international reputation as the world’s expert on island health care. Sir John Dewar MP chaired The Highlands and Island Medical Service report that was the world’s first government enquiry into rural health care delivery published in 1912. His recommendations to constitute an essential general practice service to address rural deprivation were not implemented until 1932 when John’s parents arrived on North Uist with some certainty of income despite the island poverty. The Highland and Islands Medical Service then became the worked example considered by the post war government for the establishment of NHS general practice in 1948. Continue Reading →

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Tributes to Dr John Macleod OBE, GP Lochmaddy

The rural & remote health community was saddened in the last week to learn of the death of Dr John Macleod, long-serving GP of Lochmaddy (North Uist, Scotland) and one of the pioneers of rural practice.

The links below will demonstrate the impressive level of involvement that Dr Macleod had in the development of rural practice as a specialty, as well as some of his other talents.

If any reader wishes to contribute an official obituary, we will be happy to publish this.

Our thoughts are with Dr John’s family at this time.

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