Lives of the fellows

William Hindle

b.11 April 1928 d.19 November 2017
BSc Lond(1949) MB BS(1952) MRCP(1958) MD(1963) FRCP(1974)

Bill Hindle as a consultant physician at Poole Hospital. He was born in London, the son of Ross Hindle, an accountant, and Violet Jesse Hindle née Baldrey. He was educated at Highgate School and then went on to study medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1952.

After junior posts at St Thomas’ Hospital, he spent a happy year at the Mayo Clinic as a fellow in physiology in 1961 and subsequently specialised in gastroenterology, publishing papers on small bowel mucosal abnormalities, before being appointed as a consultant physician at Poole Hospital in 1966, becoming the senior physician in 1970.

Bill was a true general physician who developed a critical care unit as well as endoscopy services at Poole. He developed strong links with general practice and many of Poole’s junior doctors subsequently became local GPs. For many years, he ran an outreach clinic at Wimborne Cottage Hospital where 30 years on he is still remembered fondly. His major role was in the development of Poole Hospital from a small cottage hospital into a widely-respected district general hospital with a strong clinical and teaching reputation. He achieved this by benign leadership, hard work and cooperation with other like-minded colleagues including Bob Souhami, who subsequently returned to University College Hospital, Ron Hill and Peter Clein, who together with Bill formed a formidable team of physicians. The days of being on call from the golf course or a boat in the harbour and physicians’ meetings lasting an hour every three months were things of the past!

Bill, somewhat reluctantly, took on progressively more demanding management roles both at Poole and at district and regional levels, and contributed to the rapid changes at Poole throughout the 1980s and 1990s. After retiring at the age of 64, he was appointed as a non-executive director of the hospital trust, an indication of the respect in which he was held by all his medical colleagues and managers.

In retirement, he was a good golfer and a popular member of Parkstone Golf Club. He loved music, was a good cellist and sang in several choirs. He settled with his second wife Mary in Gussage All Saints in Dorset and was a popular participant in village life. The last two years of his life were marred by increasing disability and pain from peripheral vascular disease, orthopaedic problems and congestive cardiac failure. As an old-fashioned physician trained in history taking and clinical examination he was saddened when he was examined by a consultant cardiologist who auscultated his chest through his pyjamas! He was wonderfully cared for by Mary and he remained interested in medical matters and Poole Hospital to the end of his life. His first wife Rosemary Clare (née Jack), known as Buddy, died of lymphoma. He was survived by Mary, his five children from his first marriage (Andrew, Simon, Jane, Katie and Johnny) and four grandchildren. He is greatly missed by his family and wide range of friends.

John Millar

[BMJ 2018 360 701 – accessed 8 March 2018]

(Volume XII , page web)

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