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Obituary for Emeritus Professor John Brocklehurst (1924-2013)

22 Aug 2013

The leading geriatrician of his generation passed away in June aged 89.

Emeritus Professor John Brocklehurst

John was appointed the first Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester in 1970 from where he led the development of one of the leading elderly care research, education and clinical practice centres in the world. The department was the beacon for the development of elderly care medicine in the North West and greatly influenced the growth of services and research in the UK, Europe and the world.

John was passionate about using science to understand the problems of old age and wrote and published widely and extensively. He wrote seminal papers on urinary and faecal incontinence, nutrition, stroke and elderly care rehabilitation and day hospital services. These were brought together into the standard tome in the field: the Brocklehurst’s Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology (1973), which is now in its 7th edition and remains the key reference work. He was the role model for many talented people to enter the field, so extending his influence on good care for elderly people and how this will always be driven by integration of high quality basic and clinical research.

Active in research up until his retirement, John would strike everybody who worked with him with the warmth and kindness of his personality. He was remarkable for the time he would set aside for colleagues, and how he always involved and inspired people in the care of elderly people. John excelled as a strategic leader, clinician and researcher with a restless intellect across a wide range of interest, and a vast depth of motivation and determination.

He is survived by Susan, his wife of many years, and their three children.

An extended obituary also appeared in the Guardian in July.