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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 July 7; 335(7609): 51.
PMCID: PMC1910632

George Henry Heyse-Moore

George Heyse-Moore was brought up in Exeter, where his father was a general surgeon. He qualified from the Middlesex Hospital in 1970 and specialised in orthopaedics, undertaking his training in the Exeter area.

In 1983 he was appointed consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the James Paget Hospital, Great Yarmouth. His main interests were revision hip surgery and the management of back problems. He enjoyed both elective and emergency surgery.

A few months after he took up his consultant post, his wife, Monica, was killed in a horrific car accident. He took a long time to recover from this, being left with two young children, Tom and Hannah, to bring up. He later met and married Elaine.

George was an excellent surgeon and reflective on his practice. As an anaesthetist and fellow orthopod, we found him a stimulating colleague to work with. His enthusiasm and interest for the clinical development of the service was missed when he retired.

As his interest in spinal problems grew, he and one of us (WN) realised that the whole management of the patient with back pain and sciatica was inefficient and frequently ineffective. In the mid-1990s he recruited a specialist spinal physiotherapist to work with us integrating spinal surgery, physiotherapy, and pain management to provide an interdisciplinary team for the secondary care of back problems. A subsequent year long audit of our service, however, still revealed deep problems in the way we managed these patients. As a result, he set up a plan for reconfiguring the services. Although he took medical retirement before he was able to implement the changes, these now provide the basis of a much more effective and efficient service for patients.

Unfortunately, George did not enjoy the non-clinical aspects of medicine and was often intolerant of the frustrations that impede our clinical activity. This did bring him into conflict with management at times.

George was a passionate admirer of P G Wodehouse, and, like the great humorist, he too had a special way with words. He wrote short stories and three novels of excellent quality but he was best known for his stroppy letters, which hit their targets with devastating precision. One of us (JP) has saved fondly those directed at him. George did not confine himself to local issues, and he and WN vied for the number of letters they could get published in the national press.

His last years were marred by the slow progression of his final illness.

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