Nottingham Hospitals History



President of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society

1987 - 1988

Peter Toghill had first worked at the General Hospital as House Physician and Senior House Officer at which time he came under the influence of Dr J D Proctor an earlier President of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society, whom he regarded as the best physician he had ever met.

He was educated at Watford Boys' Grammar School, University College, London (as an Exhibitioner) and University College Hospital Medical School graduating MB BS in 1955.

After National Service as a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and various postgraduate appointments in Nottingham and Sheffield, he returned to University College Hospital, London, as Medical Registrar and British Empire Research Fellow with Professor (later Lord Rosenheim) and Professor Tom Prankerd. His research work there with Tom Prankerd on "Red Cell Pooling in the Spleen" led to the award of a Doctorate in Medicine in the University of London. He became Senior Registrar to the Liver Unit at Kings College Hospital before moving back to Nottingham when he was appointed as Consultant Physician to the General Hospital Nottingham in 1968, moving to the Queens Medical Centre when it opened ten years later.

Peter Toghill had been attracted by the prospect of the new Medical School in Nottingham. During the period 1968 to 1970, shortly after he arrived, there was an enormous expansion of medical staff and facilities and the Queen's Medical Centre had already been planned. Amongst others coming to Nottingham during those halcyon days were Tony Mitchell, Michael Langman, John Hampton, David Hull, Jack Hardcastle and Malcolm Symonds with David Greenfield as a charming and unifying Dean.

Peter Toghill's clinical interests were in gastroenterology and haematology and initially he continued his research on splenic function in disease. He had a wide interest in general medicine and was regarded by the local medical community as the “physician's physician.” With the arrival of students at the new Medical School his interest began to turn to medical education and he became, in turn, medical tutor, clinical sub-dean and later Director of Education at the Royal College if Physicians of London. He wrote extensively and one of his books, "Examining Patients" became a standard textbook for new medical students on the wards.

He joined the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society shortly after arriving in Nottingham and was Hon. Secretary in the 1970's. In 1978 he was awarded the Society’s travelling Fellowship to review the medical arrangements and to give medical advice to the Falkland Islands. A grateful momento of this visit, in the form of a painting by a local artist from Port Stanley, hangs in the Society's Council Room at the City Hospital. His Presidential Address to the Society was entitled "Medical Apprentices" and dealt with the development of the Nottingham Medical School.

In later years he was much involved with the activities of the Royal College of Physicians of London being an examiner for the Membership exams, Councillor, Censor and Foundation Director of Education. In this last post he was responsible for introducing the concept of formal continuing medical education to consultant physicians.

In his earlier days he was an enthusiastic and competent cricketer, captaining his medical school and playing for United Hospitals. With his playing days were over he became an active member of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and wrote a series of articles for the journals on old cricketers, notably, Dr W G Grace and C B Fry.