Ray Fitzpatrick FMedSci, 1950-2024

05 Apr 24

Ray Fitzpatrick FMedSci, 1950-2024

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Ray Fitzpatrick, Senior Research Fellow in Sociology, on 4 April 2024.

Having started his career at the medical schools of St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Middlesex Hospital, Ray came to Nuffield in 1986, when he was appointed University Lecturer along with a College Fellowship. He rapidly became an integral part of the College, including serving as one of the longest-standing Deans in Nuffield’s history.

Throughout his time at Oxford, Ray demonstrated the value of interdisciplinary, collaborative study. He was recognised for his work by being appointed to several senior posts within the University, including the Professorship of Public Health and Primary Care. Ray was also made the Head of the University’s Department of Public Health, and performed this role so successfully that he served a second time.

Beyond the University, Ray brought his knowledge and experience to the Medical Research Council, on which he sat for some 15 years and whose Public Health and Health Services Research Board he chaired. He was also National Programme Director for the National Institute for Health and Care Research’s (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery research, and the principal investigator and theme leader for the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration for Oxford and the Thames Valley. In addition, Ray worked with Arthritis Research UK on its Scientific Advisory Committee, as well as serving as Deputy Director on the Department of Health and Social Care’s Quality Safety and Outcomes Policy Research Unit.

The Warden, Sir Andrew Dilnot, says:

“Ray Fitzpatrick’s death is a great loss, to his wife Mary, to all his family and friends, to everyone at Nuffield College over the many decades of his time with us, to the Nuffield Department of Population Health and all his colleagues there, to the wider research community and to the world. Ray was a model for us all – kind, courteous, overflowing with integrity, hard-working almost to a fault, always ready to help anyone and to take on tasks in College and elsewhere, and along with all this, he was brilliant, distinguished and hugely productive. His work on Patient Reported Outcomes transformed not only the academic discussion of the outcomes of medical interventions, but the practice of medical intervention, and by crossing over from academic work to policy Ray epitomised one of the central aims of Nuffield College: to be a place for academic and non academic to co-operate to address social scientific challenges.

"Over the nearly 40 years that Ray was a Fellow of Nuffield he was an inspiration to generations of students, while serving for decades as Dean. He was wise and generous in conversation with his colleagues, and took on a huge range of duties in the College with unfailing care and good humour. We are hugely grateful for all that he did and gave to us all, and miss him very much indeed.”