Make a Referral Donate Now
Ashgate Hospice > Our Patrons
Man smiling towards camera

Founding Patron
Dr. Richard Atkinson

I was a consultant in Anaesthetics and Pain Medicine, an anaesthetic subspecialty, in Chesterfield, and then subsequently in Sheffield, retiring from the NHS in 2003, at which time I was one of a few full time specialists in pain medicine and palliative care.

Qualifying at Barts in the 60’s I spent time as assistant professor at McGill University and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Canada, having a special interest in nerve blocks and pain relief methods.

In 1985 after the closure of Ashgate Annexe, with the support of North Derbyshire Health Authority requesting Trent Region not to sell it, I became Chairman of the appeal committee to convert it to a hospice. I became the first medical director when it opened in 1988 and am delighted at how Ashgate has broadened its services and become so well regarded in the community of Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, and indeed so well supported from so many quarters. 

During my career I received honorary membership of the British Pain Society,  and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.


I was also an initial recipient of the Fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FFPMRCA) when it was given assent as a new specialty. I have contributed chapters to a number of textbooks, and had many research papers published. 

In retirement I now enjoy being invited back to attend events and taking the opportunity to thank staff, volunteers and the public for their generous input, and admiring the wonderful expansion of services over the years. Indeed I am honoured to still be involved in some small way. 

My main hobby is golf which includes helping with the annual Ashgate golf day organisation; also walking in the Peak District, skiing (carefully nowadays!), cooking, European travel, as well as organising social events and reunions. I am married to Barbara and I am very thankful for her support over the past 54 years. Together we have four children and nine grandchildren locally, and in Leeds, Birmingham and Dublin.