Malcolm John Aylett

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 07 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1411
  1. Malcolm John Aylett

A committed generalist from his undergraduate days, Malcolm John Aylett served in the army in Hong Kong, attached to the Royal Artillery, then with Shell in Sumatra, followed by a rural idyll with the Tanzanian government, living among the game parks. He settled into family practice in Wiltshire, where he set up projects on spina bifida and breast feeding and introduced peer review into local obstetric practice.1 2 3

But, dismayed at the professions’ retreat from continuing personal care,4 5 from choice in place of birth and of death, and at the increasing industrialisation of medicine, he took on a small single handed practice in the heart of Northumberland’s Cheviot hills. Finding a total absence of practice records, he developed a new system and later became the first practice in the county to have its records fully computerised.6 With his local medical committee, he developed rubella immunity recording.7

He was appointed the health authority’s computer facilitator, travelling throughout the region and helping practices to reorganise their records (see list of publications). In a popular training practice, a succession of registrars learnt the real meaning of continuing care and where, 35 miles from the nearest district hospital, reliance on a wide range of basic clinical skills was obligatory. Involved in research for most of his career, his later years in practice were combined with a part time research fellowship at Newcastle’s medical school, when he published widely on the community management of hypertension and blood pressure measurement (see list of publications).

List of publications on computerised practice records

  • Aylett M. Computerised repeat prescriptions: simple system. BMJ 1985;290:1115-6.

  • Hutchinson A, Mitford P, Aylett M. Creating a general practice data set: new role for Northumberland local medical committee. BMJ 1987;295:1029-32.

  • Aylett M. Advising GPs on IT. Br J Healthcare Computing, March 1988.

  • Aylett M. Computer applications in general practice. J R Coll Gen Pract 1988;38:434.

  • Aylett M. Children’s immunisation records. J R Coll Gen Pract 1989;39:81.

  • Aylett M, Booth N. Computer application courses. J R Coll Gen Pract 1989;39:80-1. Aylett M. Practice-FPC links and audit. Proceedings of the British Computer Society Primary Health Care Specialist Group, July 1989.

  • Aylett M. Practice computing in Northumberland—a facilitator. J R Coll Gen Pract 1989;39:7.

  • Aylett M. Computer networks and general practice. Journal of the British Computer Society Primary Health Care Specialist Group, July 1989.

List of publications on community management of hypertension and blood pressure measurement

  • Aylett MJ, Ketchin S. Stopping treatment in patients with hypertension. BMJ 1991;303:345.

  • Aylett MJ, Creighton P, Jachuk S, Newrick D, Evans A. Withdrawing antihypertensive drugs. Lancet 1994;343:1512.

  • Aylett MJ. Ambulatory or self BP measurement? Fam Pract 1994;11:197-200.

  • Aylett MJ. Stopping treatment of selected hypertensives. Abstract re EGPRW meeting at Copenhagen. Fam Pract 1994;11:496.

  • Aylett MJ. Stopping treatment of selected hypertensives. Abstract re NAPCRG meeting at Toronto. Fam Physician 1994;II:283.

  • Aylett MJ. The use of home blood pressure measurements to diagnose white coat hypertension in general practice. J Hum Hypertens 1996;10:17-20.

  • Aylett MJ, Creighton P, Jachuk S, Newrick D, Evans A. Blood pressure control of drug treated hypertension in 18 general practices. J Hum Hypertens 1996;10:547-50.

  • Aylett M, Creighton P, Whiteside P, Singleton S, Redmond L, Balsdon D. The introduction of local hypertension guidelines. Coronary Health Care 1997;1:90-3.

  • Aylett M, Balsdon D, Creighton P, Singleton S. Using clinical audit to measure the effectiveness of a programme to improve hypertension care. Coronary Health Care 1999;1:1.

  • Aylett M. Pressure for change: unresolved issues in blood pressure measurement. Br J Gen Pr 1999;49:136-9.

  • Aylett M, Marples G, Jones K. Home blood pressure monitoring: its effect on the management of hypertension in general practice. Br J Gen Pract 1999;49:725-8.

  • Aylett MJ, Creighton P, Jachuk S, Newrick D, Evans A. Stopping drug treatment of hypertension: experience in 18 British general practices. Br J Gen Pract 1999;49;977-80.

  • Aylett M. Monitoring for hyperuricaemia to prevent gout in patients on thiazides. BMJ 1985;290:1792.

  • Aylett M. Coronary heart disease, shared care, and cholesterol. Lancet 1995;345:329-30.

  • Aylett M. Cholesterol testing. BMJ 1989:229:180.

  • Duggan S, Aylett M, Eccles M, Ford G, Defining hypertension in older people from primary care case-notes review. J Hum Hypertens 1997;11:193-9.

  • Coope J, Aylett M. Syst-Eur trial. Lancet 1997;350:1633.

Having attained his MD thesis in his 65th year, he retired into an active village life. He had an increasing interest in prehistory at that time and, as one of the founders of a local archaeological society, which he chaired for some years, he further published his researches in this direction. He happily retired to Bath where he became immersed in more local history and was in close contact with old friends and family. His wife died in 2006, and he leaves four children.


Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1411


  • General practitioner (b 1932; q Westminster 1955; LRCP, MRCS, D(Obst)RCOG, MD, FRCGP), d 14 January 2012.


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