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In memory of Barrie Pilkington

9 January, 2018

Author: Jennifer McKinstry, Superintendent Radiographer, Royal Belfast hospital for Sick Children and Secretary of the APR

Barrie Pilkington
Barrie Pilkington

It is with great sadness that we have lost our esteemed colleague, Barrie Pilkington, who died in a car accident.

Barrie had a varied and dynamic career, had been an active member of the Society and the specialist group of the Association of Paediatric Radiographers (APR) for many years.

He trained as a radiographer at the Crumpsall Hospital, Manchester, where he qualified in 1966. He commenced his career as a general radiographer at Ancoats Hospital, where he worked until 1969, when he moved to Booth Hall Children’s Hospital and where his interest in paediatrics began.

Barrie took up the challenge of management, becoming superintendent of Booth Hall in 1972, the year he also gained the laudable HDCR.

In 1982 he managed the installation of the first radiology information system in the UK, a system he later shared his extensive knowledge of at several events. He also published an article on the system in Radiography in 1983. During this time Barrie was also a popular lecturer on the subject of paediatrics.

Barrie was asked to manage the installation of a radiography system in a secure isolation unit for Lassa fever and Ebola patients at Monsall Hospital in Manchester. An article on this subject was published in Radiography in January 1984.

In the same year his love of the Lake District and the great outdoors drew him to the post of superintendent radiographer of Furness General Hospital, where he once again managed the RIS, a system which was in place until 1999 and subsequently rolled out under Barrie’s watchful eye to Kendal.

Barrie played a significant role throughout his career within the Society of Radiographers and particularly the specialty of paediatrics. He acted as secretary of the Northern Region Radiographers Group from 1988-1992 and was later secretary of the Northwest Region Superintendents Group.

He was a founder member of the Paediatric Radiographers group in 1974, which became the special interest group affiliated to the College of Radiographers known as the Association of Paediatric Radiographers.

Barrie worked tirelessly as treasurer for the last 20 years, acted as chairman from 2000-2002 and organised several study days on all aspects of paediatric imaging. He gave support to many radiographers to ensure the continued promotion of education in the field of paediatrics. Throughout his time in the group he was an inspiration to all involved, particularly the new members, whom he encouraged.

Throughout his career he was recognised by his radiographic and radiology colleagues as an expert in all aspects of radiology technology, both clinical and administrative. His comprehensive knowledge and quiet capability greatly enhanced every department he worked in. He shared his knowledge generously.

As recognition for his outstanding contribution to the profession throughout his career, Barrie was awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the College of Radiographers in 2008.

He was a keen photographer and fell walker who had completed all the Wainwrights.

Barrie is survived by his wife, Sandra, and two sons, Darren and Garry. Darren supported his father’s interest in paediatric radiography and recently designed a new logo for the association.

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