Paul Strickland

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 01 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5869
  1. Chris Mahoney, London
  1. chris.mahony{at}

Cancer scanning pioneer

Even at the age of 89 consultant radiotherapist Paul Strickland clearly relished recalling his ancient battles with the so called “authorities in London” when he reflected on the campaign to build the scanner centre that bears his name.

The early part of a three minute YouTube film recorded in 2010 tells of his unsuccessful efforts to persuade the NHS to fund a computed tomography scanner at Mount Vernon Hospital in Watford, Hertfordshire. As director of what is now the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre from 1970 to 1982, Strickland had quickly realised that early scanning could save the lives of patients with cancer and other serious diseases.

Undeterred by official rebuffs, in 1983 Strickland formed the Mount Vernon Scanner Appeal. It was to raise £1.7m (€2m; $2.7) in two years—enough to fund not only a computed tomography scanner but a magnetic resonance imaging scanner and the building to house them at Mount Vernon.

Strickland began his 65 year association with Mount Vernon when he arrived as …

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