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Esmond William Ball served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in the Middle East and Kenya before training as a pathologist at Westminster Hospital, London, and North Staffs Royal Infirmary, Stoke on Trent. In 1965 he was appointed consultant pathologist at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, where he remained for the next 20 years, specialising in haematology. During this time he developed as a singlehanded consultant an outstanding laboratory based haematology service for a large district general hospital. This gave him the opportunity to develop innovative techniques and to apply automation and later computer technology to the benefit of the service and patients.
He was also active in the development of the postgraduate medical education centre, taking a particular interest in the training of junior doctors in haematology. Not content with these activities in his own hospital, he formed with colleagues the West Midland Regional Haematology Committee, becoming in turn secretary and chairman. He travelled widely to pathology and haematology meetings, serving on the council of the Association of Clinical Pathologists from 1977 to 1979.
After retirement he became active in Rotary International and became a student at the Birmingham Jewellery School, as well as developing a large garden at his home.
Esmond was a most congenial colleague, always interested in establishing the patient’s diagnosis on the basis of measured fact rather than opinion. He also had an outstanding capacity for friendship to all. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer; two sons and a daughter; and eight grandchildren.
Former consultant haematologist Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham (b 1919; q St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, 1944; MD, FRCPath), died from congestive heart failure on 1 September 2007.