Malcolm Smith HarveyBMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7417.754-c (Published 25 September 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:754
- Malcolm Smith Harvey
Former district community physician Canterbury and Thanet (b Leith 19 July 1912; q Edinburgh 1935; DPH, FFCM), died from pneumonia on 15 April 2003.
After a brief spell as assistant medical officer of health for Plymouth in 1938-9, Malcolm Harvey joined the Royal Army Medical Corps at the outbreak of war and took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk, caring for the walking wounded for 30 hours under continuous enemy bombardment. Seconded soon afterwards to the Department of Health, he helped set up a wartime regional health structure in the south east of England. At the end of the war he worked with the nutritionist William Drummond to re-establish health services in Holland following the "winter of the hunger."
In 1948, after two years back in Plymouth, he was appointed medical officer of health for Canterbury and the surrounding districts and continued to be responsible for public health in the area until his retirement in 1978, gaining wide respect for the energy and commitment he brought to the work. He notably tracked down the source of an explosive outbreak of Q fever at the city’s college of art in 1950. He was president of the County Borough Group of Medical Officers of Health in 1968-9. Following the NHS reorganisation in 1973, he was appointed district community physician for Canterbury and Thanet, and saw through a difficult amalgamation of their services with wisdom and diplomacy. On reaching retirement age in 1977, he was awarded the OBE.
In retirement he continued his lifetime’s involvement with the St John Ambulance, in which he was a corps surgeon, and with the Canterbury Postgraduate Medical Centre. A man of deep faith, he was an elder in his local URC church and a keen supporter of the British Legion. He leaves a wife, Hope; four children; and nine grandchildren. [Robert Harvey]
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