Edinburgh Northern Hospital Group


Bangour General Hospital was built as a hutted Emergency Medical Services complex built in the grounds of Bangour Hospital at the start of World War II. Seven new hospitals were built in Scotland at that time and similar hutted complexes were built in the grounds of several other existing hospitals in locations considered to be safe from bombing. Early in WWII a brain injury unit was established staffed by personnel for the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. There were neurosurgical, Neurological, psychiatric and psychology staff in the unit. As the workload grew, a second unit was opened at Killearn Hospital which was more accessible to Glasgow. In 1944 a Scottish Record Office Memorandum noted that the Plastic Unit and the Brain Unit at Bangour were among the few units of their kind in the U.K. After the war, the head injury unit was transferred to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. (ref: 13, 168, 181)

In 1948/49 Leslie Easson established the biochemistry laboratory at Bangour.

Easson had an early academic career in the Department of Chemistry in Relation to Medicine in Edinburgh University, where he had graduated, and had moved to Carlisle in 1937 to develop a clinical chemistry service there. With the establishment of the National Health Service, he moved to Truro, Cornwall, to repeat this role before taking up an academic post in the Department of Clinical Chemistry at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1948/49. Part of his initial duties included the establishing of the service at Bangour and, in 1952, he was further seconded to Fife to develop the service there. He became a full time member of the staff in Fife in 1967, retired in 1969 and died in 1985. (ref: 50, 57, 93)

In 1959 Ian Hendry, from Glasgow Victoria Infirmary (1953 to 1959), was appointed as Senior Biochemist. In 1964 he was appointed as Principal Biochemist and was the Head of the Department until 1986. He retired around 1989. (ref: 50)

Jean Forshall, from Edinburgh Royal Infirmary (1959 to 1965) and Cameron Hospital, Fife (1965 to 1967), was appointed as Senior Biochemist in 1967. She retired as Principal Biochemist in 1998.(ref: 50, 98)

In 1986 Derreck McCullough was appointed as Consultant and Head of Department. McCullough trained in chemical pathology from 1977, mainly in Belfast hospitals. He was seconded to London and Manchester for a year each during his training and took a year out from 1985 - 86 when he worked with Beechams in England on normal beta-agonists in obesity and type 2 diabetes. He maintained this interest in obesity and helped with clinics for a few years. He retired 2009 and worked in Bermuda for 2 years, returning to UK 2011. (ref: 50)

In 1991 the department moved to the new St Johns Hospital in Livingston and came under Alastair Smith, Clinical Director for Lothian Area Clinical Chemistry Services until the hospital achieved Trust status in 1993.

Graham Ellis, who had trained in Sheffield and Birmingham and who'd worked in Toronto from 1976 to 1998, was appointed as Principal Biochemist in 1998. He retired in 2010

Neither McCullough nor Ellis were replaced. The laboratory was managed from the Edinburgh departments without either medically or science qualified staff on site.

Return to Introduction / Index

Last updated March 2012