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Biographical entry Slade, Philip Ridd Helyar (1916 - 2010)

FRCS 1947; MB ChB Bristol 1939.

31 May 1916
Bristol, UK
17 May 2010
Cardiothoracic surgeon


Philip Slade was a cardiothoracic surgeon at Groby Road Hospital, Leicester. He was born on 31 May 1916 in Bristol, the son of Alexander Slade, an engineer, and his wife Elsie. He served in the RAMC in the Second World War, after which he trained in general surgery up to senior registrar level and was appointed as a senior lecturer in surgery at the University of Khartoum, Sudan.

After two years, he returned to train in thoracic surgery at the North Middlesex, the Brompton and St Bartholomew hospitals, before he was appointed in 1963 as a consultant surgeon to the regional cardiothoracic centre, Groby Road Hospital, Leicester. There he established open heart surgery in association with his consultant colleague Betty Slessor.

He was unassuming and typically wrote in 2001 that he 'had never published any material which is of lasting importance', although he wrote two cardiac case reports in the British Journal of Surgery in 1954 and a third in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery in 1963. He was an active member of Pete's Club - a travelling surgical club whose only rule was that 'no reported case should reflect credit on himself' - and where only errors of judgement and surgical mishaps were described. His contributions were always presented with dry humour and eagerly awaited by members of the club.

In retirement, he worked voluntarily for many years as medical officer to Taunton Hospice. He was unmarried. He died on 17 May 2010, alert mentally, but physically restricted in a retirement home which he said he found 'utterly boring'.

Raymond Hurt

The Royal College of Surgeons of England