Obituary: Dr Paul Allan, radiologist, 64

Dr Paul Allan. Picture: contributed
Dr Paul Allan. Picture: contributed
Have your say

Dr Paul Allan, a respected Edinburgh radiologist, has died, aged 64.

Paul Allan was born and raised in Barrow-in-Furness where his father and grandfather were general practitioners, although his family had Scottish connections.

After Stonyhurst College, he began his medical training in London, initially at University College, and then at the Westminster Hospital Medical School. Junior posts in London and Southampton followed.

In 1978, he married Helen Rosemary Hoof, an orthopaedic ward sister, and the couple went on to have two sons, Nick and Chris.

The same year, they moved to Edinburgh for Paul to start training in radiology, while Helen worked at Princess Margaret Rose Orthopaedic Hospital.

During his training Paul developed an interest in ultrasound, which was then in its infancy.

In 1983 he was appointed senior lecturer in medical radiology and honorary consultant radiologist – transferring to a NHS consultant post in 1999 – at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with the remit of developing diagnostic ultrasound.

At the time, Paul was the only radiologist in the department with an interest in ultrasound and had two-to-three sessions per week. He steadily developed the service and introduced new techniques such as vascular ultrasound and biopsies.

When he started, the ultrasound department consisted of one primitive machine squeezed into a cubbyhole in the corner of a crowded department. Now there are four, soon to be five, ultrasound machines that are in continuous use.

Paul became clinical director of radiology at the ERI in 2000, and subsequently extended his remit to include the other radiology departments in Lothian.

He was also heavily involved in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and for several years ran the successful South East of Scotland Training Scheme in Radiology.

He held various positions in the Royal College of Radiologists, perhaps most importantly as chair of the committee that vetted training schemes throughout the UK. He was president of the Scottish Radiological Society in 2004-6.

In his younger days, Paul played rugby for Edinburgh Wanderers and latterly he curled with a group of Edinburgh medics.

He enjoyed walking and jogging on Blackford Hill close to his home until he developed DVT following a long-haul flight. The consequent damage hampered his mobility subsequently, a source of some frustration.

He intended to retire at the end of March 2015 and had begun preparing for the change, but he died suddenly at home on January 12.

His funeral was taking place today at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Lauriston Street, followed by committal at Mortonhall Crematorium.