Lives of the fellows

William Trevor Berrill

b.9 July 1944 d.8 April 2009
MB BS Lond(1969) MRCP(1972) FRCP(1985)

William Trevor Berrill, known as ‘Bill’, was a consultant chest physician in Cumbria. He was born in Coventry, the son of Trevor Hellier Berrill, a consultant surgeon, and his wife, Ethel Florence, who was a nurse. He attended Rugby School and studied medicine at London University and the Middlesex Hospital Medical School. After early house jobs at the Nottingham General Hospital in the late 1960s, he became senior house physician and resident medical officer to the Exeter Hospital Group from 1969 to 1971. He followed this by a year at St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth and then another year at the Brompton Hospital, London.

Moving into the field of thoracic disorders in 1975, he became registrar in chest/general medicine at the Southampton Hospital, and then senior registrar at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. The following year he moved to the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, Cumbria as a consultant physician in general/chest medicine. Thirty years later he was to retire as the hospital’s longest serving consultant and he received a lifetime achievement award from the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust for pioneering developments in health care. One of his innovations was to open one-stop clinics for respiratory patients and to provide specialist nurses for them. He also undertook research in asthma mortality and developed a small hospice unit at the hospital to provide palliative care. From 1984 to 1984 he was honorary secretary of the North of England Thoracic Society.

In 1974, he married Jane Rosemary née Lake and they had two sons, David, who was a vet, and James, who became a registrar in gastroenterology. An active man, he enjoyed fell walking, skiing, sailing and golf. He was also a keen photographer. Although he welcomed the technological advances made in medicine in his lifetime, particularly the way that CT scanning had improved diagnosis, he worried that impersonal technology might damage the doctor-patient relationship. His wife and sons survived him when he died.

RCP editor

[The Times and Star 16 April 2009]

(Volume XII, page web)

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