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The importance of passing on family history


Birth and early life
Harold Lambert Physician
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I was born in 1926, which makes me 78. And I think the only star of my birth was it was the general strike, so my granny had to get a lift on the back of a motorbike to come and see the baby. Otherwise there are no particular distinctions. And that was in Hackney in East London, in the East End, and middle of three brothers. And when my father had managed to get out of poverty he moved to Willesden, Cricklewood, and we lived there until the Second World War started, when the children were all evacuated. And then, various places in the country until the very end of the war when I went to university. So that was my sort of physical movements in that era.

British doctor Harold Lambert (1926-2017) spent his career tackling infectious diseases, helping in the development of pyrazinamide as an effective treatment for tuberculosis. He also published work on the rational use of antibiotics and was a trustee and medical advisor for the Meningitis Research Foundation.

Listeners: Roger Higgs

Roger Higgs was an inner city GP for 30 years in south London, UK, and is Emeritus Professor of General Practice at Kings College London, where he set up the department.

He gained scholarships in classics at Cambridge but changed to medicine after a period of voluntary work in Kenya in 1962. He was Harold Lambert's registrar for 18 months in the early 1970s, the most influential and exciting episode in his hospital training. He set up his own practice in 1975. He helped to establish medical ethics as a practical and academic subject through teaching, writing and broadcasting, and jointly set up the 'Journal of Medical Ethics' in 1975.

His other work included studies in whole person assessment and narrative in general practice and development work in primary medical care: innovations here included intermediate care centres, primary care assessment in accident and emergency departments, teaching internal medicine in general practice and establishing counselling services in medicine.

He was made MBE in 1987 for this development work and now combines bioethics governance, teaching and writing with an arts based retirement.

Tags: Cricklewood, London, Hackney, Willesden

Duration: 54 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008