Published on 7 February 2020
A consultant anaesthetist who has spent 30 years caring for patients in east Kent has been honoured with a national award.
Dr John Rampton was presented with the Evelyn Baker medal at a ceremony in London in recognition of his dedication to the William Harvey Hospital.
The medal was introduced by the Association of Anaesthetists in 1998 and is only given to one or two people each year, who meet the criteria of outstanding clinical and leadership skills.
Dr Rampton was nominated by colleagues, including Dr Marcus Fletcher, lead clinician for anaesthesia at the hospital, Dr Vanessa Purday, clinical director of surgery and Dr Jonathan Purday, deputy medical director at East Kent Hospitals, who described him as the ‘backbone’ of his department.
Dr Fletcher said: “His first loyalty has always been to this hospital and by extension the Trust, and the support of the patients and staff.
“He is much loved and respected by the midwifery staff and colleagues from the women’s health directorate where he has devoted so much energy and time to midwifery education in particular.
“The breadth of his clinical knowledge, ability to learn new skills and ways of working and his excellent relationships with surgeons of various specialisms is as yet unparalleled in our experience.”
Dr Rampton was clinical lead for the anaesthetics department three times, and was the Trust lead for anaesthesia, overseeing the merger of three separate departments into one. He has also served as a staff governor, and taken a key role in supporting and training colleagues.
In the early days of his career he ran a satellite intensive care unit at the old Buckland hospital in Dover, while also working shifts in the main ICU at the William Harvey Hospital.
He remained on the on-call anaesthetic rota right up until his retirement from full-time practice two years ago.
Dr Rampton was instrumental in setting up dedicated ante-natal clinics for high risk anaesthetic patients, while his skills as an amateur photographer meant many new mothers benefited from a portrait of their baby taken by him, something colleagues describe as one of his trademarks.
Dr Fletcher said: “He has been unstinting in his support of colleagues when they have encountered difficulties and is well known for his fairness and wisdom and skills as a mediator.
“His technical and clinical expertise in obstetric anaesthesia is well recognised throughout the hospital and the other Trust sites and he has for many years been the go-to opinion for those clinically challenging cases which keep colleagues awake at night.
“Successive generations of anaesthetic trainees attest to his unflappable demeanour and resilience whilst on call at what is an exceptional busy secondary care acute hospital that places a high demand upon its anaesthetic and intensive care teams.
“He can retire knowing that he is still at the very top of his game and with the very best wishes from his colleagues. He will be sorely missed and may be considered almost irreplaceable. That we can fill the gap he leaves is testament to the work he has put in over the years in terms of recruitment and retention of staff.”