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Biographical entry Basu, Pradip Kumar (1942 - 2011)

MB BS Calcutta 1965; FRCS Edin 1970; FRCS 1971.

4 January 1942
Calcutta, India
14 November 2011
General surgeon and Urological surgeon


Pradip Basu was a urological and general surgeon in Lincoln. He was born on 4 January 1942 into a medical family in Calcutta, India, the sixth child of Bibhuti Bhusan and Durga Rani Basu née Sinha. His grandfather and father qualified in Calcutta; his father became chief medical officer to the east zone of India, and at one time worked for Eveready Batteries. Two of Pradip's sisters went on to become gynaecologists in Hull and Sheffield. In all 10 members of the family have been employed in the National Health Service.

Pradip studied medicine in Calcutta, qualified in 1965 and then moved to the UK. His potential as a surgeon soon became apparent. He secured successive posts in Hull to registrar level, and then, in 1975, he was appointed as a registrar in general and paediatric surgery and urology in Rhyl, Wales. Appointments in Liverpool followed, as a senior registrar and honorary lecturer at Broadgreen, Whiston and Walton hospitals, where his expertise was further extended in vascular and endocrine surgery and urology. This period saw Pradip develop his research interests. These covered a wide range of topics, including those connected with renal transplantation. Studies were undertaken on bowel motility after ureteric implantation, the incidence of steroid-induced cataract, comparison of in-situ and reversed vein saphenofemoral bypass and myoelectrical changes in colonic disorders.

He made many presentations to learned societies, including the British Transplantation Society, the British Society of Gastroenterology, the Association of Surgeons of India and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He wrote articles for the British Medical Journal, Transplantation Proceedings, the European Journal of Cancer and Gut. During this time, Pradip carried out 51 cadaveric renal transplants.

His inevitable consultant surgical appointment was to the United Lincolnshire Hospitals in 1988, to which post he brought extensive experience. He immediately recognised the need for a specialist urological service, and set about constructing this with characteristic energy. Corridor meetings were always about 'equipment', and under his influence the department blossomed, replacing the previous mixture of general surgery to incorporate urology. This change was not at first welcomed by some colleagues, but Pradip always prevailed when difficulties were encountered.

He was appointed as a PLAB examiner in 2000. He examined final year medical students at Nottingham and Leicester universities.

For such a busy man, Pradip found as much time as possible for his family, to whom he was devoted. He had met Santa Biswas, his future wife, in Calcutta. They belonged to the same rifle shooting club. Santa went on to become the All-India 0.22 rifle shooting champion in 1965. During selection for the National Championships, Pradip had publically upbraided Santa for recommending certain pills to a friend for flu-like symptoms before a shoot, without medical qualification. This incident certainly brought him to her attention. In 1968 they married for love; arranged marriages were then the norm.

Their two sons, Babu and Bobby, were very close to him, and he was immensely proud when Babu obtained an MBA, and Bobby qualified in medicine. Bobby worked in Rotherham, and frequently found himself in a urology clinic without senior support. Pradip made sure he was available for telephone consultations; Rotherham Hospital had an unpaid consultant!

Pradip's outside interests were extensive. He and Santa continued with competition shooting: she became Lincoln women's champion, and he was always in the 'A' team, taking part in the National Shooting Championships at Bisley. His funeral was attended by the entire shooting team, and the coach. He loved cricket, and frequently got up in the early hours to watch test match cricket in other countries. He opened the bowling and batting for teams, including school, university, medical college and various hospitals. He was, in addition, an excellent character actor, taking part in many productions as a key member of a local theatre group.

Pradip Basu was a gifted man, extremely dedicated to the hospitals in Lincoln and to those under his care. He was an outstanding colleague. His expertise was apparent from the beginning and his output was prodigious, in the days when this was permitted by management and nursing staff.

He died on 4 November 2011, aged 69.

I M Hutton

Sources used to compile this entry: [Santa Basu; Calcutta Medical College obituary; Lincolnshire Echo 7 December 2011].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England