Lives of the fellows

Satya Saran Chatterjee

b.16 July 1922 d.29 October 2012
OBE(1971) MB BS Patna(1944) MRCP(1949) MRCP Edin(1972) FRCP(1973) FRCP Edin(1973) FCCP(1973)

Satya Chatterjee was a consultant chest physician at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester. He was born in Calcutta, India, the son of Basanta Kumar Chatterjee, a civil servant, and Indu Moti Chatterjee née Mukherjee. He was educated at Patna High School and then studied medicine at Patna University. He qualified MB BS in 1944.

In 1947 he moved to England, initially to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. From 1949 to 1950 he was a medical registrar at Walker Gate Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne. In 1950 he first went to Manchester, as a registrar in the Chest Clinic. From 1953 to 1954 he was a junior lecturer in medicine at Albany Medical College Hospital, Albany, USA. He then returned to the UK, where he was a senior lecturer at Baguley Hospital, Manchester.

From 1957 he was a consultant chest physician in Manchester, at Baguley and Wythenshawe hospitals. Here he became a very well-known figure in respiratory medicine and research. He established a lung function unit at Baguley hospital in the mid 1950s and worked on trials for drugs for asthma.

He also worked tirelessly to support overseas doctors who worked within the National Health Service, and was a founding member and president of the Overseas Doctors’ Association. The Association became a national organisation with 60 divisions, and liaised with the Department of Health and the General Medical Council.

His concern for the wider community saw his involvement in issues of racism. He was chairman of North West Conciliation Committee of the Race Relations Board from 1973, and chairman and an executive committee member of the Manchester Council for Community Relations from 1966. He was also very involved in advising the government on health matters affecting immigrants from the Subcontinent and elsewhere.

His community work spanned other faith groups and he was a regular visitor to Manchester Cathedral, where I first met him. He was a member of the Indian Association in Manchester and helped establish Gandhi Hall as a centre for its activities. In 1972 he was made an OBE.

Satya was a very modest and humble man, who often shared his insights and anecdotal stories with great insight. In everything he did he was ably supported by his wife Enid (née Adlington), whom he married in 1948. He was survived by Enid, their three children, Petula, Nigel and Camille, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Many in the city of Manchester and beyond remember him with great fondness.

Govender Rogers

[The Guardian 13 December 2012 – accessed 11 January 2016]

(Volume XII, page web)

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