Lives of the fellows

Peter Kenneth Philip Harvey

b.22 January 1942 d.3 August 2012
MB BChir Cantab(1966) MRCS LRCP(1966) MRCP(1969) FRCP(1983)

Peter Kenneth Philip Harvey was a consultant neurologist at the Royal Free Hospital, London. He studied medicine at Gonville and Caius College Cambridge and the Middlesex Hospital. Qualifying in 1966, he did house jobs at the Middlesex and then went to the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in Queen Square. When he was only 33 he was appointed a consultant neurologist to the Whittington and Chase Farm hospitals. Three years later, he moved to the Royal Free Hospital and while there became medical director from 1991 to 1993 and chairman of the medical advisory committee from 1991 to 1994.

An outstanding teacher of neurology, often regarded by medical students as a difficult topic, he was honorary senior lecturer at the Royal Free Medical School and at University College London. Colleagues found him ebullient, humorous and energetic and were sometimes shocked by his unorthodox clinical manner, but his patients and the nurses valued his kindness and appreciated his diagnostic skills which were often based on shrewd intuition. He published scientific papers in several journals on neurological topics, particularly epilepsy. After he retired from the NHS in 1997 to concentrate on his medico-legal work, he continued to teach at the Royal Free as an emeritus consultant. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (where he was a council member from 1980 to 1990 and honorary secretary for overseas affairs from 1985 to 1990), a member of the Association of British Neurologists and of the Academy of Experts.

Outside medicine he enjoyed cooking, wining, dining, attending the opera and spending time in his holiday home in Valboulet, France. It was there that he died suddenly in the garden, having suffered uncomplainingly for some time from diabetes and chronic renal disease (for which he had to have home peritoneal dialysis). He was working until shortly beforehand and was survived by his wife, Lesley, and their children, Alan, Johnny and Zehra.

RCP editor

[BMJ 2012 345 6319; Debrett’s Peerage - both accessed 23 November 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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