Intended for healthcare professionals


Nigel Standfield: vascular surgeon who trained generations worldwide

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 14 May 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1250
  1. Rebecca Wallersteiner
  1. London, UK
  1. wallersteiner{at}

Nigel Standfield was born in Wuppertal, Germany, to John Standfield, who had served in the British and Indian armies during the second world war and then in British intelligence, and Mollie (née Taylor), a sports teacher who had trained in the army. The family moved to Street, Somerset, where John became an advertising manager, but he was also an amateur botanist. Fortunately, Standfield inherited both his mother’s passion for sports and teaching and his father’s aptitude for science. At Sexey’s School, in Bruton, Somerset, he was popular with his fellow students and teachers alike and as an all-rounder he excelled at cricket and football, as well as academically. He was very much a west country man, solidly focused on home and family life.

Soon after starting out as a medical student at King’s College Hospital Medical School in London he lost both his parents but continued with his studies, more determined than ever to succeed in his ambition to become a surgeon. He met his future wife, Donna, a sister at the same hospital, at an anaesthetists’ party. Standfield invited her to a cricket match the following week, and their immediate spark was to last their long marriage. They had three sons.

Medical career

In 1990 Standfield was appointed consultant vascular surgeon at Hammersmith Hospital and Royal Postgraduate Medical School and the Royal Brompton Hospital, London. He was elected a council member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2016.

Standfield had a varied clinical vascular practice with a particular interest in congenital vascular malformations, which was the focus of his inaugural professorial lecture “From Tolpuddle …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription