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Prof. Sir Robert Shields


1930 - 2008

Surgeon and academic administrator. Born in Paisley, the son of an engineer, Shields was educated at the John Neilson Institution in that town. He went on to study medicine at the University of Glasgow under Sir Charles Illingworth (1899 - 1991). Following National Service, he returned to Glasgow before accepting a senior lectureship at the Welsh National School of Medicine in 1963.

In 1969 he accepted the Chair of Surgery at the University of Liverpool and went on to build an international reputation for his department. A successful academic, he served on the Medical Research Council (1982-94) and the General Medical Council. He was knighted in 1990, was appointed Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside the following year and also served as President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (1994-97), the first Glasgow graduate ever to be elected to this position.

In retirement he became a government advisor and, in 1996, he authored an influential report for the Scottish Executive, Commissioning Better Health, which laid out the roles and responsibilities of Health Boards in the new market-driven system of healthcare provision.

He died in Liverpool.


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