Posted on August 2019 By James Southwell
Professor Harold Ellis is 93 and has been an outstanding pillar in the NHS community, having been within the Healthcare industry for 71 years. Though his age doesn’t seem to stop him from coming into his current job as a professor, every day.
It all started in July 1948 when at the age of 22, a fresh faced Harold graduated from Oxford University and immediately went on to qualify as a House Surgeon at the John Radcliffe Hospital within it’s very first month of officially re branding into the NHS. Harold recalls back to when ‘there were no flags, or big notices to say that it was the NHS’ and that ‘the Nurses didn’t even have badges stating it’, it just had the appearance of a regular hospital back then. His dedication set him on a path to becoming a notable figure that is remembered and appreciated to this day, having written textbooks that are still currently in use for teaching students. After getting to work inside the NHS early days; he undertook a two-year military service during the Korea War, where he would treat solders injured in the spinal and head area. This was also the time that he studied for and was eventually awarded The Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons.
He continued to work around the UK as a surgical registrar in areas like Sheffield, London, and even returned to the Radcliffe in Oxford once again. It was in 1960 when the talented surgeon began to run the surgical unit in the now-closed Westminster Hospital, this was in company with being the professor of surgery there all the way up until he retired from his practice in 1989. This led him to begin teaching, where he taught anatomy at Cambridge University from 1989 till 1993 but it didn’t end there for him and he still teaches to this current day.
Over the years the Professor has seen the NHS grow increasingly and make advancements that he couldn’t have expected. Diseases becoming almost extinct and surgeons performing things that he said, ‘would never have been done in my day’.
We hope that the father of two and granddad to six gets a little time to relax to himself these days, after having certainly earned it.