President of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society

1980 - 1981

Stanley James Harris was born in London in 1924, educated at St .Clement Dane’s, he entered Guy's Hospital at the age of 16, and qualified in 1947.


He held two house appointments before completing his National Service in the Royal Air Force where he served mainly on an operative flying station also looking after a small service hospital, an occupational works area, and the families of service personnel, all of which stood him in good preparation for General Practice.


He left the R.A.F. in 1950 and became a Trainee Assistant in General Practice in Stratford-on-Avon. This appointment was the forerunner of the modern Vocational Training, and his Principal was a Dr. Archibald McWhinney, who was an excellent GP and teacher and who had a brother in Wollaton, Nottingham, Dr. Robert McWhinney. Whilst there he cared for patients involved in an endemic of Hepatitis A, and despite all the usually accepted precautions, caught the disease himself. He also looked after the players at the Memorial Theatre, and with his friend the local Vet, attended the monthly horse race meetings, where the horses were more often patients than the VIPs. When off duty he occasionally went on night visits with his Vetinary friend.


After a second Assistantship in Accrington, he applied for and was successful in being appointed to a single handed General Practice Vacancy in Nottingham and this has remained his mode of Practice since. Eventually the Practice moved to the family House in Mapperley Park.


His interest in Industrial Medicine was encouraged by becoming an Appointed Factory Doctor in Nottingham, and he also was Medical Advisor mainly in Toxicology at Raleigh Industries, and to Birds Food Products at Bobbers Mill in Nottingham, and to various other manufacturing companies.


Stanley Harris was Medical Officer to the Nottingham General Dispensary in Broad Street, from 1954 dealing with Rheumatology, and Physiotherapy, and when that institution eventually closed about ten years ago he continued as a Trustee to the Charity and still attends its meetings. Interestingly, the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society used to meet at the premises in Broad Street before purchasing 64 St James' Street, Nottingham.


His children being keen swimmers, Stanley took a technical interest in Sports Medicine, and became the Medical Officer to the Nottinghamshire Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) and the Midland ASA, also dealing with the British team when it trained at Loughborough.


Stanley Harris was elected to the British Medical Association, Local Medical Committee in the 1970s, and became a member of the Nottinghamshire Family Practitioners Committee, later renamed the Family Health Service Association and was a member of the Practice Vacancy Service Committee and other associated Committees, serving his colleagues, until he retired. He was Chairman of the Professional Advisory Committee which directed and monitored the Deputising Services in the City and County and which set out the framework and principles for the current out of hours work, although he rarely used the service himself.

He became a member of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society soon after coming to Nottingham and was its Librarian for 4 years and Secretary, also for 4 years, during which time he was involved in the negotiations for the move of the Society to the Postgraduate Education Centre at the Nottingham City Hospital in 1972. He was honoured to be elected President of the Society in 1980/81 and enjoyed immensely his year of Office. He was elected an Honorary Life Member in 1993. Stanley Harris became a Member of the BMA soon after qualifying, and was Chairman of the Nottingham Division in 1981. During his Chairmanship he attended the BMA meeting in San Diego, California, where he was invited to address the students at the University of Los Angeles on the subject of General Practice in the UK. He was Chairman again in 1998. He still serves the BMA as a Counsellor.


He retired from the NHS in 1994 and was appointed to the Appeals Authority of the Dept of Health.  He has been married for 54 years to Joan, and has a Son also a GP, in the South, and a Daughter in London.

His private interests include photography, Jazz, gardening, reading (until 2 am) and the Internet. For 42 years Stanley Harris was a single handed GP in the NHS. He still continues to Practice, is as enthusiastic as ever, and we are told, enjoying it.

SURGEONS Nottinghams Eminent Surgeons and Physicians