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After research with Professor Jack Hardcastle in Nottingham, Keith David Vellacott continued his surgical training in south west England before joining the Royal Gwent in 1986 as a general surgeon with an interest in colorectal surgery. He introduced colonoscopy, ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography), and laparoscopic cholecystectomy services and was active in adopting and promoting day case surgery in our region. He also started the hospital’s laparoscopic colorectal surgery programme and participated in many national colorectal cancer studies.
“KDV,” as he was known, was renowned for taking everything on, not only the most complex of clinical cases but also the duties which came with his roles as clinical director and undergraduate organiser. He courageously carried on working despite five major cancer operations spread over eight years. The sad ironies were that he eventually succumbed to the very disease he spent so much of his working life treating, and that he did not live long enough to receive his thoroughly deserved MBE. He leaves a wife, Jinette, and two children, Guy and Adele.
Consultant surgeon Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport (b 1948; q The London Hospital 1972; MBE, DM, FRCS), died from metastatic colorectal cancer on 9 October 2007.