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brian bentley
Photograph courtesy of The Society & College of Radiographers

Dr H Brian Bentley, BA, MEd, MPhil, DSc, FRIPH, FCR

It is with considerable sadness that we let members know of the death, on 2 February 2014, of Dr H Brian Bentley, former Research Officer in the Research School of Medicine (Public Health Medicine) and Head of the Division of Imaging and Radiotherapy Sciences in the School of Healthcare Studies.

Brian Bentley was one of the leading figures of his generation in radiography and radiography education.  Born in 1933, he initially qualified as a nurse before training as a radiographer.  He went on to a career of considerable distinction in the NHS, during the course of which he was Principal of the School of Radiography at Leeds General Infirmary from 1968 to 1990.  He left Leeds to take charge of radiography education in the North Thames Health Region.  During this time, he brought together a number of individual schools to form the Charterhouse College of Radiography, of which he was the inaugural Director of Education. 

The evolution of professional training and degree qualifications in radiography owes much to Brian Bentley’s vision, skills and energy.  His influence was exercised both through his own publications and his very active membership of the Society and College of Radiographers, where he served on the Council and a wide range of committees.  As chair of the education committee, he was key to the development of qualifications in areas including ultrasound and nuclear medicine.  He was President of the Society and College in 1985/86.  In 1994, he was responsible for the launch under his editorship of the Society’s international journal Radiography.

Although he had had a number of previous links with the University of Leeds, including an honorary lectureship in Radiodiagnosis, it was not until 1994 that Brian took up a substantive appointment within the University.  Initially employed in a research capacity on a public health project on congenital anomalies, in 1996 he became Head of the Division of Imaging and Radiotherapy Sciences in the School of Healthcare Studies.  Holding this appointment until the middle of 2000, Brian brought to it considerable flair and acumen.  He provided the Division with a high level of academic leadership, encouraged the development of the various disciplines within the Division and forged close links with the NHS locally and regionally.  His time with the University provided a fitting coda to a career rich in achievement.

A Fellow of the College of Radiographers and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene, Brian was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science by City University in 2002. In 2003 Brian became an Honorary Research Fellow at Salford University where he created some summary review articles about historical radiography publications. 

Brian is survived by his wife Sylvia, daughters Alison and Susan, and son Phil.

The funeral service will be held at 12.15pm, on Thursday 20 February 2014, at St Helen’s Church, Station Road, Hemsworth, West Yorkshire, WF9 4HN. This will be followed by cremation at Pontefract Crematorium (a 20-30 minute drive from the church) and a buffet at the Kings Croft Hotel. It would be appreciated if those planning to attend would let the Funeral Directors know (Co-operative Funeral Care, 01977 615693). 

There are to be family flowers only.  Donations may be made to St Helen’s Church (there will be a plate in the church) or to The Stroke Association (a plate will be provided at the crematorium).  Donations may also be made through the funeral directors.

In Brian’s memory, the flag will be flown at half-mast on the Parkinson Building next Thursday.