Lives of the fellows

Helen Elizabeth Mair

b.18 April 1924 d.14 March 2016
OBE(1982) MB ChB Manch(1948) DPH(1954) MRCPsych(1974) MFCM(1974) FFCM(1976) FRCPsych(1980) FRCP(1985)

Helen Elizabeth Mair was director of public health for Medway Health Authority. She was born in Rotherham, Yorkshire, the daughter of James Alexander Mair, a director of education, and Helen Sumner Mair, a headmistress and later an education adviser to the Girl Guides Association. Mair was educated at Dr Williams’ School, Dolgellau, north Wales, and then studied medicine at Manchester University, qualifying in 1948.

She held house officer posts at Ancoats Hospital, Manchester and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. From 1950 to 1956, she was an assistant medical officer for Manchester City Council. She then became a deputy medical officer of health at Dagenham. Between 1961 and 1963 she was deputy medical officer of health in Gillingham, Kent, and was then appointed as medical officer. From 1974 to 1982 she was a district community physician for the Medway Health District, Kent. She was subsequently appointed as a district medical officer for Medway Health Authority.

She wrote reports on children in day nurseries, children with Down’s syndrome and community mental health services, among other topics, and contributed to The mental health service after unification: mental health in a unified National Health Service – report of the Tripartite Committee (London, Tripartite Committee, 1972), Rethinking community medicine: towards a renaissance in publics health? (London, unit for the study of health policy, department of community medicine, Guy’s Hospital Medical School, 1979) and Handbook of psychiatric rehabilitation practice (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1981).

She was a fellow of the Faculty of Community Medicine, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of Physicians. In 1982, she was awarded an OBE for her contribution to community medicine.

Outside medicine, she enjoyed riding, gardening and travel, and ‘retreating to the mountains of Scotland and a second home in Wales’. She also liked good food and cooking. In 1959 she married Derek Senior, a journalist and author. They had one daughter, Jill.

RCP editor

(Volume XII, page web)

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