A tribute to David Goodall FRCOG

News article 5 Oct 2017

David passed away on 26th September 2017, aged 78 years.

David was an obstetrician, lecturer and a volunteer facilitator, who provided clinical care in the UK and overseas and trained hundreds of health care workers from low and middle income countries. He obtained the membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG) in February 1974, and became a fellow (FRCOG) in June 1996 and was an accredited British Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (BSCCP) Colposcopist.

From 1967, David spent the early 14 years of his career working in Sarenga mission hospital in West Bengal, India, where he was medical superintendent in-charge, providing both management and clinical services. Returning to Liverpool in 1980, he was senior registrar at the Oxford Street women’s hospital. He also got involved with the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health (CMNH) at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) as honorary lecturer, lecturing on the Diploma in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene courses.

David was a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at NHS Blackburn for 20 years, upon retirement from the NHS in 2006 and dedicated his time to developing and implementing the Emergency Obstetric Care training courses in Low and Middle Income Countries. David was one of the foundation faculty members and facilitated 41 courses in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Swaziland, Somaliland, South Africa, Malawi and Sierra Leone. David was the most active volunteer faculty and he managed the CMNH-LSTM volunteer help desk from inception March 2015 till he passed away.

David leaves behind a wife Jackie, four children Paul, Neil, Mark and Shona, and 15 grandchildren.

Tribute from CMNH

David was one of the great obstetricians and gynaecologists of our time, a truly inspirational clinician and teacher, a wise counsellor; but more than that he was quite simply our friend.

He gave his time and expertise, in a manner beyond generosity, in support of the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. David supported the Diploma in Sexual and Reproductive Health from its very inception, taught and advised on the Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Health, and was a tireless volunteer for the ‘Making it Happen’ programme.

David volunteered on 41 Emergency Obstetric Care courses in countries as diverse as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Swaziland, Somaliland, South Africa, Malawi and Sierra Leone. His kind heart and lively wit ensured that he was always a great travelling companion and support to less experienced volunteers. His passion for improving standards of maternal health care and achieving better outcomes for women was always evident. He was always on hand, willing to help with in-house courses here at CMNH. We are so very grateful for David’s hard work in delivering these courses. There was nowhere David was more appreciated than in Bangladesh, where his ability to speak Bengali coupled with his deep cultural understanding ensured that he led in planning and developing training beyond his role as course director. Travelling to Bangladesh so frequently earned him a Gold Emirates card and led to him telling hilarious stories about being upgraded to First Class on a flight where he was amazed to be offered an in-flight shower!

Our colleagues in the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have told us how deeply they appreciated David’s input in supporting many young Asian doctors who came to the UK to further their training under the Medical Training Initiative scheme and the care and time he devoted to helping these doctors obtain the MRCOG qualification.

David continued to be a great supporter of CMNH and was often to be found in the offices of various members of staff sharing his experience, providing support and care to so many of us, and generally enjoying a good natter. We will miss his visits so very much. He brought laughter, inspiration from years of experience and was always so positive. He called himself the ‘Grandfather’ and we called him ‘Sir David’ - gone too soon but forever in her hearts and minds.

It is impossible in a few words to encompass a fraction of what David meant to all the staff and volunteers of CMNH. We extend our loving sympathy to Jacky, Neil, Mark, Paul and Shona and all his grandchildren and extended family.

May he rest in peace

Nynke van den Broek and the whole CMNH team

CMNH have compiled messages from CMNH staff, volunteers and healthcare workers into a memorial book for David’s family. A copy of this book will be available on request from CMNH.