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Tributes paid to former consultant physician Dr David Walmsley

Dr David Walmsley

[T]ributes have been paid to former consultant physician Dr David Walmsley who died whilst cycling on the 19 April 2018.

David was the first consultant in diabetes and endocrinology at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) and Westmorland General Hospital (WGH) when he took up his post in 1995. He had studied medicine in Birmingham where he met his future wife Jenny, and his student elective at a mission hospital in Botswana was a formative experience that helped shape his view of medicine.

Dr Paul Smith, Consultant Physician, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust said: “David worked as a junior doctor in the Midlands and Yorkshire, before taking up a senior registrar post in Aberdeen. He would occasionally fondly recall waiting for his interview at the Moor Hospital when he was joined by a friendly gentleman who helped himself to the tea and biscuits that had been provided for the candidates.

“As one of just five consultant physicians David was extremely busy in his early years at the Trust, providing inpatient care and clinics at both RLI and WGH. He introduced endocrinology clinics to the local area and transformed diabetes care, in particular through commencing dedicated diabetes ante-natal clinics that supported many women with diabetes through pregnancy.

“He was a knowledgeable, dedicated and skilled physician and had a special interest in pituitary disease which meant that he was able to care for patients with complex problems for which they would previously have had to travel. On many occasions he would ‘go the extra mile’ for patients and justifiably accumulated a ‘fan base’. Even now his colleagues will be told, “Oh he was such a good doctor, Dr Walmsley,” or “I do miss seeing Dr Walmsley.”

“He was meticulous in his practice and had great skill in recall and attention to detail, and his fellows learnt over the years that when he started to talk in meetings it was a good idea to get comfortable. David was a keen proponent of patient education so his colleagues were delighted to be able to dedicate the education resource room in the Diabetes Centre to him, and have it opened by him last year.

“Outside of work David had a range of interests that included gardening, ornithology, and music and he was passionate about local wildlife and ecology which he supported through the Lune Valley Rivers Trust. He was dedicated to his family and immensely proud of his two sons John and Phil who have both recently married and are pursuing careers in academia.

“David retired in February 2016 after 20 years as a consultant and he made the most of his liberation from work, pursuing his different interests and spending time with his family. I was his fellow consultant in diabetes and endocrinology for over 15 years and very much valued David’s knowledge, support and friendship, and as with many others will miss him greatly.

“A service of thanksgiving was held for David at St Paul’s Church in Brookhouse on Thursday 1 May 2018 at which donations in lieu of flowers were collected, and will be divided between the Diabetes Centre at the RLI and the Woodlands Trust. We have started a Book of Remembrance for David in the Diabetes Centre in which friends and colleagues can write dedications, thoughts and or reflections in his memory and anyone who would like to contribute to the book or make a donation please call in to the centre. I would like to pass the book on to Jenny, John and Phil by the end of May, so please don’t delay.”

Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust said: “Like other colleagues, I was shocked and saddened by the loss of a very special colleague. David and I worked closely together in his early years with the Trust when we worked on improving the knowledge and education of staff in caring for people with diabetes. We even won a national award!

“I have very fond memories of working with David and we stayed in touch over the years. When I came back to the Trust in my current role, David was one of the first to welcome me and offer his support. I am saddened that David has been taken so soon, and especially saddened for his family who David spoke about all of the time.

“His funeral service was incredibly moving and it is clear that this close and loving family have lost a very special husband, father, brother. Here at UHMBT, I know his death has impacted on many people. We won’t forget you David. Rest in peace.”

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