Team

Team members

Lyn Jenkins

Coordinator

GP and Bereavement Counsellor

  • MA (Cantab), BM BCh (Oxon), MRCOphth
  • GP principal, Great Missenden (1979 – 2006)
  • Hospital Practitioner in ophthalmology, Stoke Mandeville Hospital (1977 – 2000)
  • Primary Care Ophthalmologist, Great Missenden (2000 – 2014)
  • Bereavement support volunteer, Cruse (2018 – )
Lyn studied medicine at Cambridge University and Oxford University Medical School. After debating whether to follow a musical or medical career, he settled on a combination of general practice in Great Missenden and ophthalmology at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Harley Street, finally managing to combine the two by setting up a primary care ophthalmology service based at his Missenden practice. Since retiring from medicine in 2014, he has retrained as a bereavement support volunteer for Cruse, and as a violin-maker and restorer. “My interest in emergency palliative care at home is not new, but was heightened by my experiences around my mother’s and wife’s deaths and then my realisation that I have no wish to be admitted to hospital with Covid-19 should they be struggling to cope with demand. Working with the bereaved has increased my awareness of the profoundly negative effect of a difficult death on the grieving process.”

Iain Chalmers

Health Services Researcher

  • DSc, MD, FFPH
  • Graduated in medicine, London University (1966)
  • Clinician in UK National Health Service; United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, Gaza (1966 – 1973)
  • Health services researcher, UK (1973 – 2019)
  • Founding director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (1978 – 1992), the UK Cochrane Centre (1992 – 2003), the James Lind Initiative (2003-2019), and The James Lind Library (1978 – )
  • Knighted for services to health care (2000)
After working as a clinician and witnessing the unintended harms that can result from using treatments that are unsupported by reliable evidence, Iain decided to train as a health services researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics (1973-75). “I retired a couple of years ago but I remain an editor of the James Lind Library, and I am one of the team maintaining and developing the website of the Palestinian History Tapestry Project. I developed severe complications of bacterial pneumonia in early 2020 and joined the In My Own Bed Please group to lobby for provision of urgent palliative care for those who wish to avoid admission to hospital.”

Peggy Frith

Consultant Physician and Educator

  • MA Natural Sciences, Cambridge University (1970), MBBChir Oxford University Clinical School (1974), MD (Cantab) (2000), FRCP FRCOphth
  • Consultant Eye Physician, Oxford University Hospitals (1996 – 2009) and University College London Hospital (1993 – 2014)
  • Deputy Director of Clinical Studies, Oxford University (1998 – 2014)
  • Fellow of New College, Oxford (since 2000)
Peggy met Lyn when they were both students at the Oxford University Clinical School. After qualifying as a physician and an ophthalmologist, she set up new clinics at Oxford and UCLH to treat sight-threatening, inflammatory and infective conditions, particularly aiming to prevent AIDS patients from going blind during the peak of that epidemic. As Deputy Director of the Oxford University Medical School and a Fellow of New College, she has experience of teaching, training and supporting students and junior doctors. “My chief mentor in training at Oxford, a remarkable physician aged ninety-one, told me clearly at the beginning of the pandemic that if he became ill with Covid, he wanted to stay at home, even if he would die. Recently bereaved and living alone, he just hoped he could find enough medical support. Then my medical student confrere Lyn suggested I join his advocacy group. I wanted to explore the realities of an emerging challenge, of how coherent medical support could be provided at home.”

Ruth Waterman

Lay Member

  • Diploma, Juilliard School of Music, New York (1969)
  • Solo violinist: violin recitals and concertos throughout most of the world, including BBC Proms (televised) and New York’s Great Performers at Lincoln Center
  • Guest conductor of Hermitage State Orchestra (St Petersburg), and Mostar Sinfonietta (Bosnia) (2000 – 2006)
  • Adjunct Professor of Violin and Chamber Music, City University of New York (1974 – 1991) Master classes, lectures, seminars at the Juilliard School, Oxford University, St Petersburg Conservatoire, Jerusalem Academy of Music, Royal Academy of Music etc (1978 – )
  • Writer: When Swan Lake Comes to Sarajevo (an Observer Book-of-the-Year 2009); writer and performer Young Vic Theatre, London (Bosnian genocide) (2007)
Violinist Ruth Waterman is particularly known for her performances of Bach, having recorded the complete accompanied and unaccompanied sonatas. After the war in Bosnia, she paid regular visits there to conduct a multi-ethnic orchestra, which led to her writing her book When Swan Lake Comes to Sarajevo (an Observer Book-of-the-Year). Her radio broadcasts and speaking engagements have explored topics as varied as the aftermath of war, emotions in music, deep listening, and writing non-fiction. “When this pandemic began, I could never have imagined that I would be editing and writing material about the virus and palliative care at home. My interest and concerns grew from the challenge of looking after my elderly mother during a pandemic.”

Advisers

Dr Iona Heath – former member IMOBP, GP, author, former President of the Royal College of General Practitioners

Dr Linda Wilson – Consultant in Palliative Medicine, clinical lead for Gold Line (an integrated end-of-life care pathway)

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the following individuals for their invaluable advice and guidance at various points in this campaign:

Professor Richard Lehman – GP, British Medical Journal blogger, former Professor of The Shared Understanding of Medicine

David Waterman – former lay member of IMOBP, cellist (Endellion String Quartet), PhD in Philosophy (Cambridge)