Lives of the fellows

Paul Strickland

b.3 January 1921 d.2 July 2013
OBE(1988) MB BS Lond(1943) MRCS LRCP(1943) DMR(1947) MRCP(1952) FFR(1952) FRCR(1975) FRCP(1975)

Paul Strickland was a consultant radiotherapist and oncologist at Mount Vernon Hospital and the founder of the Paul Strickland Scanner Centre. He was born in Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, the son of Ivor George Strickland, a company director. His brother, Basil Strickland [Munk’s Roll, Vol.X, p.474] also became a radiologist. Paul was educated at King’s College School in Wimbledon and went on to study medicine at King’s College Hospital Medical School.

He qualified in 1943 and held house posts in the Emergency Medical Service, in Leatherhead and Goodmayes. In 1945 he was a casualty officer at Fulham Hospital, and in 1947 he joined Mount Vernon Hospital and the Radium Institute, as a registrar, senior registrar and then a consultant radiotherapist and oncologist. From 1970 to 1982 he was director of the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre. He was also medical director of the hospital for a period, and played a key role in its medical management.

He wrote several papers on malignant disease and also chapters on the treatment of various types of carcinoma.

He became convinced that early scanning could save the lives of cancer patients, but failed to convince the NHS to fund the purchase of a scanner. Undeterred, in 1983 he became vice chairman of the Mount Vernon Scanner Appeal; two years later, after a lot of campaigning, enough money had been raised to buy a CT and a MRI scanner, as well as a building to house them. The new building was named the Paul Strickland Scanner Centre in his honour. The centre has continued to be at the forefront of scanning technology: a PET scanner was installed in 1997, a PET/CT scanner in 2004, and in 2005 the first ever 3T MRI scanner in the UK outside a research facility and for clinical use.

Paul continued to work for the centre well after his official retirement as an NHS consultant, as medical manager, trustee and honorary medical director. In 2011, he finally retired, after 65 years of service at Mount Vernon, and was named ‘founder and honorary life president’ of the centre.

In 1988 Paul Strickland was awarded an OBE.

He died peacefully at home in south west London, and was survived by his wife Ruth (née Rado), whom he married in 1949, their two daughters, Claire and Susan, and four grandchildren. He was a great inspiration to all who knew him and his lasting legacy is the success story that is the centre which bears his name.

Susan Neale

[BMJ 2013 347 5869; The Royal College of Radiologists Obituaries Clinical oncology – accessed 7 April 2014; The Paul Strickland Scanner Centre Dr Paul Strickland OBE MB BS FRCR FRCP – accessed 7 April 2014]

(Volume XII, page web)

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