Professor Gabrielle (Gay) Kingsley - Obituary



It is with great sadness we report the death of Gabrielle Kingsley. She died after a short illness on Thursday 7 January 2016. Professor Kingsley was the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust Medical Director, and a Consultant Rheumatologist. 

At BSR, Gay spent many years a member of the executive, providing excellent strategic advice. She chaired the Heberden Committee, External Relations Committee and the Clinical Affairs Committee. She also spent 5 years as an associate editor of Rheumatology.

Obituary kindly provided by her colleagues David L Scott, Louise Pollard and Sophia Steer.


Gay died when she reached the very peak of her achievements. Her contributions to medicine spanned clinical rheumatology, postgraduate training, research and management.

She was raised and attended school in Manchester before training in Bristol. After completing junior posts in the West Country she moved to Guy's hospital in the early 1980s. She spent the rest of her career in south east London. Over the last two decades she became one of our closest colleagues and was a good friend to us all.

Gay started working at Lewisham when it was linked to Guy's. The hospitals demerged as part of the ever changing organisation of London Hospitals but Gay chose to remain at Lewisham. She loved working there and initially she was the only rheumatologist. Throughout her time at Lewisham she supported both adult and paediatric rheumatology. Eventually she secured funding for Ghada Yanni and Vijay Hajela to join her. In recent years she gained several more colleagues, particularly after a recent merger with Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich.

Her early research was on T cells working with Gabriel Panayi, Constantino Pitzalis and Jerry Lanchbury. Over the years her focus moved to clinical research and trials. Gay led the widely-respected MIPA trial in psoriatic arthritis. She was also senior author on the BMJ report of the TACIT trial last spring. She was recognised for her outstanding contribution to her field when she was awarded a professorship in Clinical Rheumatology by Kings College London. Her academic strengths were her ideas, her ability to assess research impact and her focus on getting things done.

Gay was responsible for rheumatology training in south London for more than a decade. She both chaired the Specialist Training Committee and was Programme Director for our Rheumatology MSc. She was reponsible for training a generation of local rheumatologists. Throughout her tenure she made certain clinicians received the best possible training.

The management roles Gay took on gradually grew into the central focus of her career. They culminated in her appointment as Medical Director of the newly formed Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust in 2013. She ensured her high standards and strategic vision benefited all clinical disciplines across the Trust. She was widely respected and supported throughout the local medical community.

Medicine consumed every hour Gay had, it was her great passion. She liked nothing better than writing papers or grants with one or other of us late into Saturday evenings. She never wanted to retire.

She bore her final illness with great stoicism and dignity. She took great satisfaction in having elected to be treated at Lewisham. She appreciated the high quality and compassion of care she received in the hospital she herself had contributed so much towards.