Graham Abbott

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 01 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5223
  1. Morag McDowell

Graham Abbott was a well respected general practitioner who was a partner at North House Surgery, Ripon, from 1996 until 2012. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2011.

Graham was born in Dorset and grew up in Gloucester. During his medical training at Leeds University, he was president of the medical students’ representative council.

He did his general practitioner training at North House Surgery, where he later became a partner. He was very innovative and full of drive in his role as partner at North House. He was instrumental in setting up a one stop clinic at the surgery. The aim of this clinic was to streamline services for patients with chronic diseases.

Graham was also a keen advocate of Ripon Community Hospital. He was passionate about the benefits of frail, elderly patients being treated at the hospital by their own GPs, who knew them well, while they were inpatients at the hospital.

A keen fan of Walt Disney, he enjoyed family holidays to Disneyland when his daughters were younger. He frequently sported ties and socks with a Disney theme, much to the delight of his younger (and some older!) patients.

Graham was a very popular GP with patients of all ages. He was caring and committed doctor and a great listener, and he was clearly very fond of his patients.

Graham was dedicated to his family and was very involved with his wife, Rachel, and the girls’ passion for riding. Although he did not ride himself, he would frequently help out at pony club events.

Since his diagnosis with cancer, Graham took up ballroom dancing with Rachel. He also joined the local branch of the Rock Up and Sing choir, which sang beautifully at his funeral.

He bore his illness with fortitude, never complaining, and remaining positive until the end. He featured in the Daily Telegraph newspaper in an article about mesothelioma and also provided help and support to other mesothelioma patients via Mesothelioma UK.

Graham was always busy and had an enthusiastic zest for life and new ideas. He lived life to the full, and even the week before he died, he managed to complete the laying of a patio in his garden.

Family, friends, patients and colleagues filled Ripon Cathedral for Graham’s funeral on 4 August 2015. The high attendance reflected the enormous affection and respect felt by all who knew Graham. He leaves Rachel, his wife; and daughters Eleanor and Tamsin.


Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5223


  • General practitioner (b 1964; q Leeds 1989; MRCGP), died from mesothelioma on 18 July 2015.

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