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Biographical entry Murrant, Nicholas John (1958 - 2015)

MB BS London 1981; FRCS 1989.

25 August 1958
Sotik, Kenya
24 May 2015
ENT surgeon


Nick Murrant was a consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon based initially at the City General Hospital and latterly the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. He was born in Sotik, Kenya, on 25 August 1958 and moved to Eastbourne when he was three. He was the only child of Peter Murrant, an insurance broker, and Edna May Murrant, who worked for the Halifax Building Society. He was educated at Bexhill Grammar school from 1969 to 1976 and then went on to King's College Medical School, qualifying MB BS in 1981.

After qualification, he pursued a career in otolaryngology, with senior house officer posts held in Swindon and the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital at Golden Square in 1985. He was a registrar at Bart's and Whipps Cross hospitals from 1986 to 1990, working for, among other distinguished consultants, Robin McNab Jones and Alan Fuller. One of his contemporaries was Jim Cook, an otologist who founded the Leicester Balance Centre. Nick Murrant spent time at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children, Hackney, where he developed an interest in paediatric otolaryngology.

In February 1990 he was appointed as a senior registrar in Aberdeen and Inverness. Between 1991 and 1992 he spent six months as a fellow in head and neck surgery and neuro-otology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, where he worked for Chris O'Brien. He gained his fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1989. He was appointed as a consultant in 1993 and served the people of north Cumbria for nearly 22 years.

Nick Murrant was an integral part of a close-knit and happy ear, nose and throat department consisting of doctors, nurses, audiologists, secretaries and administrative staff who pride themselves on the quality of care they deliver to patients in north Cumbria. He was initially part of a team of three consultant ENT surgeons, which grew to four in 2005. Nick Murrant led this team by example, working tirelessly in providing high quality care, both for elective and for emergency cases.

He had a particular interest in otology and operated on thousands of patients to improve their hearing and cure chronic infections of the ear. He also set up a bone anchored hearing aid service in north Cumbria, thus opening up more opportunities locally to rehabilitate patients with hearing loss.

Nick Murrant's lasting professional legacy was in developing a multidisciplinary approach to helping children with severe and profound hearing loss. This has been until recently a neglected area of patient care, but north Cumbrian patients were fortunate that Nick recognised this gap many years ago and pulled together a dedicated team of audiologists, teachers of the deaf, representatives of the voluntary sector and health visitors to investigate, treat, rehabilitate and support these children and their families. Many hundreds of children have had their lives immeasurably improved as a result of his forethought and leadership in developing this service. He developed fruitful links with colleagues in Newcastle and was well regarded by peers both locally and nationally.

Nick Murrant led by example. He was a true public servant, dedicated to the principles of the National Health Service. He dealt positively and constructively with challenges faced at work. He served as associate medical director for surgery in the hospital's trust for several years, and implemented many changes that have benefited patients. His unique sense of humour, humanity and common sense was appreciated by all and he inspired a huge amount of loyalty and friendship from all who worked with him. He was responsible for training many junior doctors and nurses in managing ENT disorders over the years, another lasting legacy that he can be proud of.

In 1988 he married Felicite (née Craddock), a nurse who trained at Bart's, who has continued to work as a theatre nurse at the Cumberland Infirmary.

Nick and his family settled in Longburgh, west of Carlisle. He was proud of his large garden, and enjoyed long walks on Burgh Marsh with his family and dogs.

Nick passed away on 24 May 2015 from pancreatic cancer. He was 56. As well as his wife, he was survived by his father, his sons, Sam and William, and daughters, Kate and Harriet.

Andrew Robson

The Royal College of Surgeons of England