William Harkness 1955 – 2021

We learnt with great sadness of the passing of William Harkness, who was not only an SCT Trustee but had also given his time as one of the Trust’s consultants since November 2009, when he did his first case. He gave his expert consultant advice on 42 cases of paediatric neurosurgery in subsequent years. He was an outstanding specialist, and we were honoured to have him on our team of medical consultants.

William was a retired paediatric neurosurgeon, working for 26 years at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, then as an Honorary Consultant at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

William was also a Past President of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery (ISPN) and was the ISPN Ambassador for Global Neurosurgery for Children. He was the surgical lead of the Epilepsy Surgery programme both at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square. He was an adviser to NHS England for the Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service and served two terms on the Council of the Society of British Neurological Surgeons.

William taught for the ISPN and other organisations and was an invited speaker in over 40 countries worldwide. He was a member of the Global Neurosurgery Committee of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) and of the WHO-WFNS liaison committee.

William had a big heart; the world has lost a truly talented man and the Trust has lost a good friend. All of us at the Swinfen Charitable Trust would like to offer our sincere condolences to his family and wife, Phillipa.