Media & Press

Obituary: Dr Tim Heymann

Professor John Williams

Tim Heymann died on the 18th October 2016, shortly after his 55th birthday. He had been a consultant gastroenterologist at Kingston Hospital for 20 years, but had pursued an eclectic career, dedicated to improving clinical services and outcomes for patients.

He graduated BA from Cambridge University in 1983, where he was President of Christ's College Medical Society, and qualified in medicine three years later from St Thomas' Hospital. He trained in gastroenterology at Kingston, Charing Cross, Newham and the Royal London Hospitals, finding time to gain an MBA with distinction from the European Business School in 1991. In 1996 he was appointed a consultant at Kingston, where he introduced many innovations, including pioneering local services for hepatitis C and capsule endoscopy, and electronic patient records. In spite of a busy clinical workload in gastroenterology and acute medicine, he also held many leadership roles both within his Trust and nationally. In 1997 he joined the Health Management Group at Imperial College Business School as a Visiting Fellow, and was promoted to Honorary Senior Lecturer in 2000, and then Reader in 2006.

Tim was a natural leader and educator who used his eclectic skills and talent for organisation and management to redesign and improve local services in his Trust. At Imperial College Business School, he developed courses at both undergraduate and masters level that were focused on helping clinicians and managers work together to tackle the challenges of delivering healthcare in an efficient, effective manner.

At a national level he served on the board of NHS Direct as a non-executive director, and on the Prime Ministers' Better Regulation Commission and on its smaller successor body, the Risk and Regulation Advisory Council. In that role he contributed to cross Governmental work on obesity, arguing for a rational, risk orientated approach. In 2015 his expertise in healthcare management and regulation was recognised when he was appointed to the board of Monitor as a non-executive director.

At the BSG he chaired the Society's Information Committee, coordinating the Society's contributions to work on HRGs, Choose and Book and Payment by Results, and promoting the development of minimum reporting standards for endoscopy and inflammatory bowel disease. He also served on the Society's Clinical Services and Standards, Programme and Independent Practice committees.

Tim won many prizes and awards throughout his career, gaining first class honours in each year at Cambridge, winning clinical prizes at St Thomas', and many subsequent awards for teaching. He took great pride in excellence, and always strove to improve the care of his patients. Entrepreneurial but collaborative, he developed a track record of working with others to transform the way people take charge of their own wellbeing and the way in which healthcare providers deliver care. An innovative educationalist, he was a respected teacher whose work on medical leadership was recognised internationally.

It was typical of his altruistic nature that he asked Christ's College set up a fund in his memory to support travel projects for their medical students. The web page for donations is http://cafdonate.cafonline.org/2260#/DonationDetails

He is survived by his wife Amanda, and their three children, Theo, Jo and Nicholas.