Tributes have been paid to an eminent Birmingham surgeon described as “a man of the people” who pioneered postgraduate education for junior doctors.
Professor Peter Gilroy Bevan CBE worked for 30 years at Dudley Road Hospital, now City Hospital, where he set up a teaching facility for doctors in a mobile classroom.
He led a fund-raising campaign to get a permanent new purpose built education centre at the hospital. The scheme was later rolled out to every hospital in the country and the library at the facility at City Hospital was named the Bevan Library in his honour.
Professor Bevan, who lived in Russell Road, Moseley, died on September 11, aged 88.
Prof Bevan studied medicine at the University of Birmingham and after qualifying in 1946, was called up to the Armed Forces to serve in the Medical Corps. He was eventually posted to Hamburg where he met and married his first wife, Patricia Laurie, in 1949.
Prof Bevan’s surgical career began at Birmingham’s General Hospital in 1950. He moved to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital two years later following his appointment as a surgical registrar. In 1958, he took up a surgical post at Dudley Road Hospital, where he spent 30 years until his retirement in 1988.
During his time there, Prof Bevan helped to pioneer postgraduate education for junior doctors starting with a blackboard taken from a disused cupboard. He set up two tutorial rooms, a lecture theatre and a library in a mobile classroom.
Professor Bevan’s son Mark, a chartered accountant, said: “If he hadn’t been a doctor, he would have been a teacher. He used his training and expertise to help others.
“He saw a big gap in the NHS in training at the time and decided to do something about it.
“He worked for the NHS and never had a private patient. He was a man of the people.”
Prof Bevan’s other achievements include several papers on surgery and surgical training. He was postgraduate director of University of Birmingham Medical School, the first regional member of council for the Royal College of Surgeons and a founding member of the West Midlands Oncology Association.
Amongst many other notable positions, Prof Bevan was surgical advisor to the Royal Navy, president of the West Midlands Surgical Society and his outstanding career was rewarded in 1980 when he was appointed vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons in support of the president, his lifelong friend and Birmingham colleague, Sir Geoff Slaney.
In 1983, he was made a CBE in recognition of his outstanding work. He devoted significant time to the Birmingham Medical Institute after he retired and was elected president in 1994.
Mr Bevan said: “He was truly exceptional and a humbling example of humanitarian and surgical excellence to all those he touched during his lifetime and to everyone he leaves behind. Prof Bevan’s funeral will be at Robin Hood Crematorium, in Shirley, Solihull, on Friday at 11.30am. Family flowers only please, donations to Diabetes UK.