Lives of the fellows

Christopher John Goodwill

b.24 March 1935 d.12 January 2011
MB BS Lond(1957) MRCP(1961) DPhysMed(1964) FRCP(1977)

Christopher John Goodwill was a consultant physician in rheumatology and rehabilitation at King’s College Hospital (KCH), London. Born in London, his father was Frederick Haynes Goodwill, a Clerk in Holy Orders. His maternal grandfather, Rivers T Rodgers, and his mother, Sibyl, were both medically qualified. Also an alumni of KCH (graduating in 1926), she passed on a great deal of knowledge to her son.

Educated at Highgate School, he studied medicine at London University and KCH where he did house jobs in the accident and emergency department for a year after he qualified in 1957. He then joined the RAMC to do his National Service and served mainly as a medical officer with the Grenadier Guards from 1958 to 1960.

On demobilisation he worked at the Brook Hospital in Woolwich and two years later moved to the Brompton Hospital as he was particularly interested in the treatment of tuberculosis. He also trained at the Royal Free Hospital from 1962 to 1964 before returning to KCH. He was especially influenced there by Frank Cooksey [Munk’s Roll, Vol.IX, p.96] who encouraged him to take an interest in the care of the disabled, alongside his specialty of rheumatology.

In 1966 to 1967, he spent a year at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor as a resident in rehabilitation medicine. Two years later he was appointed consultant in rheumatology and rehabilitation at the Brook before returning to KCH in 1971.

At the College of Occupational Therapists, he was on their board of studies, an examiner, and chaired the committee which started a degree training programme for occupational therapists. After three years hard work he managed to negotiate with the Departments of Health and Education, and the universities, to introduce the first degree course in England for occupational therapists. In 1987 the University of Kent validated a degree offered by Christchurch College, Canterbury at their new School of Occupational Therapy.

He enjoyed teaching, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and wrote several scientific papers on topics ranging from the neuropathy of liver disease to vehicles for disabled drivers. With M Anne Chamberlain, he co-edited Rehabilitation of the disabled adult (London, Croom Helm, 1988), which was the first comprehensive book on adult rehabilitation to be published in the UK and was reissued in a second edition in 1997. It covered all aspects of physical disability and also equipment for disabled people.

A trustee of the British Home and Hospital in Streatham which cared for 120 disabled people for over 20 years, he was always happy to be approached for advice on individual cases. Before that he had been on the management committee of the Cheshire Home in Dulwich.

His Catholic faith meant a lot to him and inspired the way he lived his life. He loved music and was a keen flute player. He also enjoyed studying the history of London.

In 1963 he married Berenice Diane née Plummer, whose father, Joseph, was an engineer. She predeceased him and he was survived by two sons and two daughters, one of whom was called Catherine Patey.

RCP editor

[BMJ 2011 342 3718 - accessed 6 August 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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