Dr John Dyer
John V. Dyer, BA. LRCP, MRCS (Eng). MBBS (Lon). DPH. FFCM.
Born 1930

Dr John Dyer who had been the District Medical Officer of Health for Lancaster and District from 1968 until 1990 died on March 25th 2020 from a gastro-oesophageal tumour.

John, aged 89, qualified in Medicine from the Middlesex Hospital in London in 1953 and after National Service in the RAF, undertook the Diploma in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine qualifying with a distinction in 1957. One of his junior hospital posts was at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Westmorland County Hospital, Kendal and that led to a long association with the area. His first public health post was in Lancaster (1957-59) followed by jobs in Corby New town and Burnley. However in 1968 he returned to Lancaster, this time with his family, married to Betty a midwife and two children Peter and Judith. He was elected as Fellow of the Faculty of Community Medicine in 1977.

John was passionate about improving the health of the local population and committed to the values of the NHS. He oversaw many improvements in housing conditions, with slum clearance, and the eradication of many diseases as vaccination became more accepted.

During his tenure the area was the first in the country to have a Child Development Centre, Domiciliary Remedial Therapists, attachment of nurses to General Medical Practices and Brucellosis free farms. He managed the Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak at Heysham Power Station in 1981 and helped establish St. John’s Hospice in Lancaster.

John was the Secretary of the Lancaster Branch of the BMA for fifteen years. He served in a voluntary capacity on a number of local charities including as Chair of the Lancaster Abbeyfield Society, President of the Lancaster Branch of Mencap, St. John’s Ambulance Service for which he was awarded an Order of St. John of Jerusalem Merit and as a trustee for the Roberts Trust in Nelson (medical research) and the Ivy Brown Trust (children’s health). He was a Lay Reader at St Luke’s Church, Slyne with Hest.

He helped establish the medical museum in Lancaster when he and a small group of doctors recognised that there was a valuable local heritage which could be lost as the hospitals were being closed.

He is survived by his son Peter, a Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Author: Peter V. Dyer

Bernie Brown

Bernie Brown was a long term, dedicated and generous supporter of Saving Faces. A former patient of our Chief Executive Professor Hutchison, he used to visit Saving Faces’ offices and brought much joy to all with his infectious smile. Bernie always told us wonderful jokes and left us with smiles on our faces. He will be greatly missed.