Lives of the fellows

Alan Laurence Bussey

b.22 May 1930 d.30 January 2012
MB BS Lond(1956) MRCS LRCP(1956) DObst RCOG(1958) MRCGP(1966) MFCM(1974) FFCM(1978) FFPHM(1989) FRCP(1991)

Alan Bussey was a consultant in public health medicine. He was born in Bexleyheath, Kent, the son of Laurence Frederick Cecil Bussey, a manager of a civil engineering company, and Alice Dora Bussey, a housewife. During the Second World War he was evacuated to Reigate, where he won a scholarship to Reigate Grammar School. On leaving school he carried out his National Service in the RAF, gaining his pilot’s licence and an award as the best pilot in his cohort. After leaving the RAF he started his medical training at the London Hospital, qualifying in 1956.

After qualifying he held house posts at the London Hospital and at Worthing. He was then a senior house officer in obstetrics and gynaecology at Southlands Hospital, Shoreham-by-Sea, and in 1958 obtained his diploma in obstetrics from Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. He subsequently joined a general practice in Angmering-on-Sea, Sussex, as a junior partner, where he stayed until 1966.

In 1967 he left with his family for Australia, initially to Naracoorte, near Adelaide, where he stayed for six months, before moving on to work in a practice in Mudgee, in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. He stayed there for two and a half years.

On Bussey’s return to the UK, he settled at Chichester, where he became a principal medical officer with a particular interest in the then new computer-based medical information systems for child health. When the NHS was reorganised, he became a specialist in community medicine for West Sussex Area Health Authority until 1978, when he was appointed as an area medical Officer for Kent Area Health Authority. In 1982, after the area health authorities were disbanded, he became district medical officer for Maidstone Health Authority and then, from 1985 to 1988, he was district general manager.

Towards the end of his career he became a consultant in public health medicine, working in Lewisham and North Southwark with a part-time secondment to the Department of Health and, ultimately, to Somerset Health Authority. He retired in 1992.

As the specialty of public health medicine developed, Alan undertook representative roles, sitting on the board of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine, becoming registrar from 1988 to 1991, and working with King’s Fund committees.

Away from his professional activities, Alan was a keen follower of rugby (latterly Exeter Chiefs), cricket (Somerset), travel, gardening and politics. On his retirement he gained his private pilot’s licence and continued flying, only ceasing about 18 months before his death. He celebrated his 70th birthday by co-piloting a Harvard trainer aircraft, the type in which he had originally qualified as a pilot.

He was survived by his wife Pat (Patricia Marjorie), a housewife and artist, who supported him throughout his career, his daughter Sue and son Richard, his two grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Sue Jackson

[Brit.med.J., 2012 344 3554]

(Volume XII, page web)

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