Nottingham Hospitals History


President of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society

1995 – 1996

Nigel Fawcett came from a family with strong medical links. His father Alan Wordsworth Fawcett F.R.C.S. was a Consultant Surgeon at Sheffield Royal infirmary, his mother Janet, and Anaesthetist and his grandfather, Prof Edward Fawcett FRC was Professor of Anatomy at Bristol University.

From 1948-54 he was educated at Clifton College, Bristol, captaining the Rugby Fives Team, being Head of House and Deputy Head Boy. Entering Trinity Hall, Cambridge has an Open Scholar he read for the Natural Science Tripos in the first two years and part 2 of the Law Tripos in his third year. Moving on to St Bartholomew's Hospital for his clinical training in 1958, he qualified MB, BChir in 1961. As a medical student he captained London University at Rugby Fives and was awarded a Full Purple.

Having decided at an early age to embark on a surgical career, he became house surgeon firstly to Mr I. P. Todd (later Sir Ian Todd President of the Royal College of Surgeons) and then second lead to Mr A. W. Badenoch at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London. After further posts in the Pathology at St Bartholomew's and Casualty and the Surgery at Bristol Royal infirmary, Nigel Fawcett became a Surgical Registrar at Sheffield Royal Infirmary and pass the Final Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (England) exam in 1966.

A period in research in pancreatic secretion In the University Department of Surgery led to a M.Chir thesis from Cambridge. In 1969 he was appointed to the Sheffield Senior Registrar Rotation spending two years with Mr D. H. Randall at Sheffield and 18 months with Mr K F Wood at Leicester.

In January 1973 Nigel Fawcett was appointed Consultant General Surgeon to Nottingham General Hospital (later moving to the Queens Medical Centre Nottingham), Ilkeston General Hospital and Heanor Memorial Hospital. Throughout his career he maintained a wide interest in General Surgery. Initially he specialised in the surgical management of duodenal ulcers but, with the advent of effective drug treatment for that condition, the need for surgery passed. Later in his career the advent of increasing specialisation threatened to limit his lines of treatment but never quite did! The advent of laparoscopic surgery provided new challenges and he was the first person to perform a laparoscopic cholecystectomy in an NHS hospital in Nottingham. Late in his career he fell from a tree when pruning, and broke both wrists it was back operating with his usual flair in the short time.

From childhood, onwards Nigel Fawcett had a passion for aeroplanes and had always wanted to become a pilot. This ambition was fulfilled when he joined the Cambridge University Air Squadron in 1956. There he learned to fly in Chipmunks and passed the RAF Instrument Rating at that time. Reverting to flying when he became a Senior Registrar in Leicester, he gained his Pilot’s License and Night Rating and flew Aerobatics Cessnas. On being appointed to Nottingham, he joined Sherwood Flying Club and over the years through a variety of aerobatic and non-aerobatic aircraft; in 1974 he won the club aerobatic competition.

The sea and sailing ships also held attractions. Starting as a Sea Scout he progressed to sailing trips across the Channel in the 1970s and flotilla sailing in the Aegean, yachting around Turkey and in the Mediterranean. More recently he sailing has been confined to windsurfing.

Having played golf intermittently for most of his life, Nigel Fawcett really started to play in earnest in 1980. He joined Notts Golf Club at Hollinwell and subsequently Beeston Fields Club. On a steep learning curve he rapidly became a single figure handicap golfer, won numerous competitions and represented his club at local and national levels. He is said to have indulged two of his passions by flying low over the fairway at Hollinwell, much to the consternation of his fellow members!

An enthusiast for all types of physical activities Nigel Fawcett started snow skiing in 1960 in many resorts in Europe and the USA and took up water skiing in 1973. An intrepid traveller he has visited, with his wife, all the continents, except Antarctica, including touring Tibet and going around the world twice.

Surgeons are often "larger-than-life" characters. This one certainly is!