Health of world leaders: Winston Churchill’s illnesses

25 January 2021 4pm UK time

Health of world leaders: Winston Churchill’s illnesses

Partnered with medical society the FPM

Watch a recording of the event

Churchill’s illnesses ranged from concussion and fractures, to pneumonia, atrial fibrillation, suspected heart attack and strokes, many occurring at times when his decisions would play a key role in national and world events.

Authors Allister Vale and John Scadding will discuss their new book on Winston Churchill’s illnesses with an expert panel

Chair: Professor Donald Singer, President, Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, London and Chair of the Cardiovascular Research Trust

Panel: Professor Allister Vale, Clinical Pharmacologist and Toxicologist, City Hospital Birmingham and the University of Birmingham, UK; John Scadding, Hon. Consultant Neurologist Emeritus, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London; Dr Anthony Daniels, writer and former psychiatrist, Bridgnorth; Dr Adrian Crisp, Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge and Chair of the Churchill Archives Committee at Churchill College; Dr John Launer, General Practitioner and Editorial Board member, Postgraduate Medical Journal.

Healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust holds live webinars on healthy life and how to prevent heart disease and related illnesses.

Do please email us if you would like to suggest ideas for topics, questions and speakers for these live sessions.

These webinars from healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust and its partners provide updates for clinicians, patients and carers and the public on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of common and serious clinical disorders related to keeping the heart healthy and reducing the risk of other cardiovascular diseases.

The topics are of interest to a wide range of professionals interested in health, including clinical trainees, senior clinicians, policy makers, academics and other health professionals.

Click here for more on the book and the background.

About the book, the authors and the panel

Allister Vale and John Scadding have written the definitive account of Churchill’s illnesses and document all Churchill’s major illnesses, from an episode of childhood pneumonia in 1886 until his death in 1965. The authors have published previously some of their meticulous research on his illnesses in the medical press, and these papers have met with acclaim in the medical community. As a result of their research the authors have corrected many repeatedly perpetuated errors.

Allister Vale is Consultant Clinical Pharmacologist and Toxicologist at City Hospital, Birmingham and holds an honorary chair in the University of Birmingham. He is a former Censor of the Royal College of Physicians and was awarded the Presidents Medal. He has been elected President of professional societies in the UK, Europe and the US. He was Chairman of the Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee [Picture by Edward Moss – All rights reserved. Prof. Allister Vale pictured at City Hospital, Birmingham].

John Scadding OBE is Honorary Consultant Neurologist Emeritus to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, and was formerly also its Medical Director and Chairman of its Medical Committee. He was Academic Dean of the Royal Society of Medicine. He is Chairman of the Independent Medical Expert Group at the Ministry of Defence and formerly Vice-Chairman of its Research Ethics Committee.


Dr Adrian Crisp FRCP is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge and has been Chair of the Churchill Archives Committee at Churchill College since 2014. He undertook specialist training in Rheumatology and Metabolic Bone Diseases at Guy’s Hospital, London and Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston USA and founded the clinical service in Metabolic Bone Diseases and Osteoporosis at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Since retiring from clinical medical practice in 2018 he has actively pursued his interest in twentieth century history. He published his first historical novel, Colonel Belchamp’s Battlefield Tour, in 2017.

Dr Anthony Daniels has worked as a doctor in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Gilbert Islands, London and Birmingham, most recently as a psychiatrist and prison doctor. His writing has appeared regularly in the press and in medical publications, including the British Medical Journal, the Times, Telegraph, Observer and the Spectator and he has published around 20 books, most recently Illness as Inspiration: The Poetry of Medicine and Disease.

John Launer is a doctor, educator and award-winning writer and is an Associate Editor of the Postgraduate Medical Journal. With a dual professional background in general practice and family therapy, as well a degree in English literature, interests range across the borders of health care, systems thinking, and the humanities. They include narrative medicine, clinical supervision for the health professions and  team development in the health service. John is lead for educational innovation in primary care for Health Education England in London.

Donald Singer is a Clinical Pharmacologist interested in personalising medicine and in public understanding of health and drugs. He is President of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine and Chair of healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust, London, UK. He trained in renal medicine at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London and went on to become a clinician and researcher at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, St George’s, Imperial College and Warwick Medical School. He has also worked for Yale School of Medicine within US-AID and CDC-supported programmes in Rwanda.  @HealthMed

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