Lives of the fellows

William Benjamin Clee

b.24 October 1953 d.19 January 2008
BSc Wales(1975) MB BCh(1978) MRCP(1982) FRCP(2001)

William Benjamin Clee was a general practitioner in Pentyrch, Cardiff. He was born in Merthyr Tydfil, the son of William Francis Clee, a civil servant, and his wife, Joyce Metcalfe. Educated at Avon Taf Comprehensive School in Merthyr, he studied medicine at the Welsh National School of Medicine and University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

Following qualification in 1978, he did various house jobs in Cardiff and Llandough, before becoming a registrar at the East Glamorgan District Hospital three years later. He spent 1984 to 1985 in two GP register posts of six months each, before joining, as a principal, the Parc Canol Group Practice in Church Village, Pontypridd.

Just after he joined the practice, there was an outbreak of hepatitis C in the area and he responded by setting up Treatment and Education Drug Services (TEDS). He found that the epidemic was caused by young people sharing dirty needles and injecting amphetamines. Local volunteers were encouraged to help run the service, which was still operating when he died, 22 years later.

He was a member of the Welsh Committee on Drug Abuse from 1986 to 1984, on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs 1990 onwards and chairman of the Welsh Advisory Committee on Drug and Alcohol Misuse from 1995 to 1999. He also acted as an adviser on drugs to the Welsh TV programme Pobol y Cwm and worked with the BBC on a series of programmes to educate the young about drug misuse, Know your poisons.

Outside of medicine, his interests were rugby, current affairs and opera.

He met his wife, Patricia Jane née Howarth, on her first day at medical school. She also became a general practitioner. They married in 1980 and had one son and two daughters. When he died, having been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at a very young age, he was survived by Patricia and their children, Catrin, Ben and Elen, who were all in their late teens at the time.

RCP editor

[BMJ, 2008 337 1642; Merthyr Express Tributes to borough doctor http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/south-wales-news/merthyr/2008/01/24/tributes-to-borough-doctor - accessed 28 January 2008]

(Volume XII, page web)

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