Intended for healthcare professionals


Leonard Jacobs

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 22 April 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2304
  1. Colin Jacobs

Leonard Jacobs was a local GP in Paddington, north London. He continued a family tradition of combining healthcare with a strong sense of social justice. In 1952 joined his mother, Elizabeth Jacobs, at the Church Street practice in Paddington, then and now an area marked by high levels of unemployment, overcrowding, poor health, and short life expectancy. Leonard and Elizabeth Jacobs fought for affordable housing in their local neighbourhood, and in 1964 they were joined by Leonard’s sister, Anne Evans, who had recently qualified. The family practice soon grew and in 1978 moved to the purpose built Lisson Grove Health Centre, where it joined two other practices. By the end of the decade, under Leonard Jacobs’s leadership, the centre had established itself as one of the few health centres in the country with a health visitor, district and community nurses, a community physiotherapist, a social worker, a health adviser for elderly patients, and a marriage counsellor. This early example of integrated community care was chosen by the Royal College of Nursing as the subject for its film Primary Health Care—a Team Approach.

Leonard Jacobs was a member of the local medical committee from 1976 to 1995, lectured on community care for the membership courses for the Royal College of GPs and for the geriatric department at Middlesex Hospital. Alongside his medical work, he was an active member of the Labour Party as a councillor and member of the borough council and Westminster City Council for 10 years. Leonard chaired the Westminster Society for People with Learning Disabilities from 2003 to 2006 and was closely involved in starting up Voluntary Action Westminster (now One Westminster), both of which continue to deliver services. He leaves three children and three grandchildren. Although his children did not choose the medical profession, he lived to see his grandson, Luke, qualify earlier this year from Manchester medical school.

General practitioner (b 1925; q Guy’s Hospital Medical School, London 1949; MRCGP), d 25 January 2016.

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