Intended for healthcare professionals


Brian Keighley

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 17 November 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6188
  1. David Payne, London
  1. dpayne{at}

General practitioner and former chair of BMA Scottish Council

A favourite fixture in Brian Keighley’s calendar was his annual gig as doctor for the Drymen Agricultural Show, in Stirlingshire, central Scotland. After the last prizes were awarded, Keighley hosted a barbecue at his home in the Glasgow commuter village of Balfron, where he worked as a general practitioner from 1974 to 2013. At this year’s barbecue, guests watched as Keighley again flew the BMA flag from his house, symbolising a career that straddled rural general practice and medical politics, and which culminated in a five year stint as chair of the BMA’s Scottish Council.

Before standing down in 2014, Keighley told the BMA annual representative meeting that although Scotland’s devolved NHS had been spared reorganisation, unlike in England, continuing pressures facing the service were like a “five year car crash.” His comments sparked a debate among politicians gearing up for the forthcoming referendum on Scottish independence.

Keighley’s “couthie” personality invited inevitable comparisons. Colin Hunter, …

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