Edinburgh Imaging

18 Dec 18. Celebrating DCN at WGH

An afternoon celebrating the long & illustrious tenure (since 1960) of the NHS Department of Clinical Neurosciences (DCN) at the Western General Hospital (WGH) site, was held at the IGMM (renamed IGC in 2021) on 29 Nov 2018. DCN will (at some point in 2019) move to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE) site.

Charles Warlow, Peter Sandercock, Roger Cull & Ernest Jellinek (seated).
Charles Warlow, Peter Sandercock, Roger Cull & Ernest Jellinek (seated).

Colleagues past & present from DCN were invited to the celebration & around 80 people attended to look back at how DCN got to where it is, as well as to look forward to its future on a new hospital site.

We were particularly honoured to have, in the audience, a number of VIPs including Margot Miller, wife of Douglas Miller, Professor of Neurosurgery at DCN until his untimely death in 1995. His name came up repeatedly throughout the afternoon, both as the creator of DCN as a joint neurology / neurosurgical academic & clinical centre, as well as a role model of the doctor-scientist, who nurtured his trainees & inspired everyone around him.

Also in the audience was Ernest Jellinek, now 96, consultant neurologist in DCN from 1966 to 1996. Ernest’s historical reach is such that he fought in the second world war & his father worked for a period for Sigmund Freud in Vienna.

We were also honoured that Jim Jenkinson, David Wright & Murray Carmichael, all retired from DCN Anaesthetics, could attend.

The event started with a welcome and vote of thanks from Chris Stirling, General Manager at WGH & Chris Myers, Manager for DCN & Orthopaedics, who gave us a preview of some of the new spaces at the Royal Infirmary DCN.

Charles Warlow (Neurology), Robin Sellar (Neuroradiology), James Steers (Neurosurgery) & Roger Cull (Neurophysiology) gave us thoughts & reflections on DCN. The effect was a bit like a clinical neuroscience version of a Led Zeppelin reunion.

Louise Williams, NHS Lothian Archivist, told us about the Norman Dott Archive, a digital collection of 28,000 clinical neuroscience case records from the 1920s to 1960, available for researchers; Max Fend, a medical student, described a project using this data.

Celebrating the DCN - audience

Alison Stewart stood in magnificently at the last minute to talk about DCN nursing. We no longer expect patients to be lined up like soldiers for the consultant ward round & we should work hard to keep up the “esprit de corps” between all members of DCN - an esprit that was consequent to the intense working conditions of the past.

Particular thanks to Judi Clarke & Rachel Burrow from CCBS for help with organisation & catering. Also to Ioannis Fouyas for joint neurosurgical chairing & to Siddharthan Chandran for funding the event from CCBS.

The afternoon was recorded & will be available online in the near future.

- Written by Professor Jon Stone, Honorary Professor of Neurology