Medical director from Fife retires and tackles four major events to raise funds for CHAS

Dr Pat Carragher (Pic: Maverick Photo Agency)Dr Pat Carragher (Pic: Maverick Photo Agency)
Dr Pat Carragher (Pic: Maverick Photo Agency)
A Fife man is set to sign off from a 26-year association with CHAS by completing a combined 64 mile challenge across four events.

Pat Carragher, from Auchtertool, is the medical director with children’s Hospices Across Scotland, which has a base in Kinross.

He is now planning to tackle the Loch Leven Half Marathon this weekend, followed by the Edinburgh Marathon on May 29.

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And, in September, he will take on the Ben Nevis Night Walk and the Great North Run.

Pat, ensures that CHAS is at the forefront of care in Scotland for children and young people with life shortening conditions, - and that the care offered remains absolutely child-centred and family-focussed.

Last week he was nominated as Employee of the Year for the Scottish Charity Awards.

He said: “I will have been a doctor for 40 years come this summer.

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“I have spent 26 years of these with CHAS, and before that in hospital and general practice posts.

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“I have met so many children and their families and it has been a privilege to work and walk with them as part of the CHAS team which has supported them. There have been many, many moments to remember, but so often these have been confidential so I cannot easily recount them here.

Pat trained in medicine in Scotland, where he qualified in 1982.

He completed his GP vocational training in 1987 and sought a GP position in a semi-rural area, and moved to Kinross. He maintained his specific interests in paediatrics, respiratory medicine, and 'terminal care'.

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In 1995, he became Rachel House's first medical officer on a part-time basis, and this role has gradually but significantly grown since then.

In 2003, he completed the Diploma in Palliative Medicine (Paediatric option) at the University of Wales College of Medicine, and has found this invaluable in helping in the development of paediatric palliative care in Scotland, and he has been a tutor on this course until recently.

In August 2006, he was appointed as depute chief executive (medical) to CHAS and two years later he became its first medical director.

Pat also chaired the Association for Paediatric Palliative Medicine from 2012-2018 and received a Fellowship from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health which recognised his work in children's palliative care.

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He remains passionate about developing palliative care for babies, children and young people across Scotland and beyond.

Now in its 30th year, CHAS is the only charity in Scotland that provides hospice services for babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions. The national charity offers palliative care and respite for the whole family via its two hospice

Like many other charities left reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, CHAS has had to dramatically transform the way in which it provides its increasingly important services. It has set up Scotland’s first ever virtual hospice to support children and families who are having to completely self-isolate.

The virtual hospice has now been operational for almost two years, offering families extensive assistance, whether it relates to clinical guidance, financial advice or bereavement support, by video and phone. CHAS family support teams are also offering an expanding range of interactive activities, art clubs, storytelling and conference calls to children and parents, with more in the pipeline.

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