David Sturgeon obituary


My pal and former colleague David Sturgeon, who has died aged 76, was for a few years a lecturer in psychiatry at Middlesex hospital in central London, the place he inspired generations of medical college students to introduce a psychotherapeutic strategy when coping with sufferers.

He was recognized for his nice empathy and understanding. In later years he moved away from his give attention to the educational aspect of his profession to develop into a full-time marketing consultant psychiatrist at College School hospital (UCH) in London, the place he helped survivors of the King’s Cross fireplace of 1987, the Admiral Duncan pub bombing in 1999 and the 7 July 2005 bombings in London.

Later he switched again into the educational world, this time as a marketing consultant heading UCL’s pupil psychological and counselling providers, the place he had a pivotal function in offering therapeutic assist.

David was born in Northenden, Higher Manchester, to Alex, an RAF officer, and Jean, a housewife. Owing to his father’s work he had a peripatetic childhood and was educated first at Stamford faculty in Lincolnshire after which Hipperholme grammar faculty in Halifax, West Yorkshire. He pursued his medical training at St Peter’s School, Oxford, the place he developed pursuits in music, drama, and mime.

In 1971 he moved to UCH to coach as a psychiatrist, earlier than changing into a lecturer at Middlesex hospital in 1975 and a senior lecturer there in 1977. He switched to be a marketing consultant psychiatrist at UCH in 1985 and joined its pupil psychological and counselling workforce in 2006.

Over time, David had a profound impression on the lives of many individuals, together with the journalist and broadcaster Alastair Campbell, a affected person for 20 years, who typically spoke of his gratitude and devoted two books to him. Colleagues, in addition to sufferers, relished his refusal to bow to pieties; he preferred saying the unsayable, and loved the response.

David met Liz Lederman by mutual associates in Hampstead, north London, and so they married in 1975. Their house in Kentish City, north-west London, supplied a centre of social life for all generations, as did their mill cottage on the Yorkshire moors, the place, simply as he was embarking on his retirement, he suffered a catastrophic fall in July final yr.

He confronted his subsequent paralysis with a characteristically mordant wit and endurance. He by no means misplaced his depraved sense of humour, nor his deadpan supply. He was endowed with a beneficiant appreciation of human foibles, and a deeply felt data of what mattered in life and what you needed to be taught from it.

He’s survived by Liz, their two daughters, Kate and Natasha, and three grandchildren, Iris, Zac and Theo.


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