We have lost a champion of Day Surgery. Personally, I have lost a dear friend and colleague. Paul graduated from Cambridge University (1966) and after medical and surgical appointments at St Thomas’s Hospital, London he became Consultant in General and Vascular Surgery at Kingston Hospital (1977-2003). He was appointed Professor of Day Surgery and Acute Day Care at Kingston University and St. George’s Hospital Medical School (1996-2017).
Paul Jarrett had a global following especially in the field of day surgery. His earlier work on day surgery for inguinal repair proved a classic. In 1989 he became a Founding Member of the British Association of Day Surgery (BADS) and was elected its first Chairman and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of One-Day Surgery. In 1995 he was a Founding Member of the International Association of Ambulatory Surgery, an organisation to which 30 countries were affiliated. Paul became the President of the IAAS (1997-99). In 1997 he became an Honorary Life Member of BADS and in 2013 he was elected an Honorary Member of IAAS.
Paul and I teamed up following a series of meetings on day surgery when we addressed such subjects as how to establish day units, how they should be administered and pointed to the need for education and research in the field. The surgical waiting list in England & Wales stood at over one million patients so could a planned programme of day surgery alter this situation. Together we agreed that a national Association of Day Surgery might be the answer, but we were aware of strong opposition to our plans. To make them work we decided to establish a Multidisciplinary Association and the first BADS Congress was held at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. The main lecture theatre was booked for 200 delegates but on the day a further 50 people attended. Immediately Paul and I decided that there was great interest in day surgery and that we should increase our efforts to impress the NHS, the Secretary of State for Health, the Department of Health and Sponsors for finances to spread the good word. As we all know BADS is now safely established at the Royal College of Surgeons England and BADS celebrated its 30-year Anniversary this year.
In the earlier years the BADS committee met regularly in London pubs, hotels and at Barnet Hospital, Postgraduate Centre. Meetings were never cancelled and despite the heavy workload involved our committee would probably all do the same again. It was fun, especially when hundreds of day units were established throughout the United Kingdom.
Throughout this hectic period Paul was a busy general surgeon on regular emergency duties. However, he became Editor of the Journal of Ambulatory Surgery and wrote over 80 publications. In addition, he delivered 25 UK Guest Lectures and 45 Overseas Guest Lectures. Over the years he assisted in the organisation of 18 UK Congresses and 13 International Conferences. What energy! His new Kingston Hospital Day Unit welcomed visitors from 23 different countries and of course they always invited Paul to spread the gospel at their own national meetings.
Paul also had a life outside of medicine, he served on the Boards of several public and private companies both national and international. He was a founder trustee of a local hospice. Few people will be aware that he was elected as a Freeman of the Company of Arts Scholars, Dealers and Collectors. In addition, he held the office of Master of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers (London).
Paul Jarrett was my friend. He was an enthusiast with abundant energy, a natural leader, an outstanding lecturer, a talented organiser. He was a very sociable person and lived life to the full. Our condolences go to Annie his dear wife and to his son Michael, a Consultant Surgeon at Kingston upon Thames.
Dr Tom W Ogg
Formerly Consultant Anaesthetist
Director Day Surgery
Past President, British Association of Day Surgery (BADS)
Past President, International Association of Ambulatory Surgery (IAAS)
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