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John Henry Friend

Consultant physician North Staffordshire Hospital 1956-85 (b 29 August 1921; q Middlesex Hospital 1943; MD, FRCP), died from emphysema on 5 February 2004.

John Friend qualified at the Middlesex Hospital and became the youngest doctor ever to be awarded the MRCP. After serving as a medical officer in the Royal Air Force he returned to the Middlesex Hospital; he moved to the North Staffordshire Group of Hospitals as consultant physician in 1956, where he was the last of the generation of truly general physicians in the area.

He had a major influence on the shape of hospital medicine in North Staffordshire. As the longest serving chairman of the local medical advisory committee he fostered a close relationship with the administration. Many of his suggestions, often forcibly expressed, were carried into their long term planning.

John was a man of high principles and carried this into his practice of clinical medicine and to his teaching of postgraduate students. His clinical opinion was frequently sought and he acted as a mentor in many areas for his younger colleagues. John was the quintessential family man and devoted most of his spare time to his wife (with whom he designed and developed three gardens) and their two sons. All three survive him. [Keith Prowse]