It is with great sadness that we report the death of Ian Parkhill, IMPACT service user and Associate staff member. Ian was aged 88 years, and had continued to contribute to teaching, learning and recruitment across the Schools of Allied Health and Community and Nursing and Midwifery until very recently.
Ian had been a stalwart in the service user movement since his retirement as a Communications Consultant, and has had a huge influence on staff and students at the university over the past decade and more.
His declining physical health meant he lived in a nursing home in recent years and he is probably the only person ever to have continued to contribute to higher education from such a home base, bringing great insight and critique into person-centred care and other initiatives from a lived experience.
Ian wrote a paper with Kay Wall, Senior Lecturer, in 2019, which was published in Disability and Society. Entitled ’Journey to Care – Reflections of a Service User’, this was a poignant and incisive piece documenting Ian’s ‘forced’ move from his home into residential care, and a piece widely used in our teaching.
Despite failing physical health, Ian kept sharp mentally and loved socialising and the youthful environment of the university, such a contrast to his nursing home.
Dr Peter Unwin, IMPACT facilitator, said:
Ian was a true inspiration to us all and I spoke at several national conferences alongside him; he was never afraid to speak his mind and, despite very significant physical struggles of his own, was always sure to speak on behalf of others. He had a great sense of humour and was a good friend to all who were fortunate enough to know him. The university was a huge part of his later life and he has left a legacy that will continue to influence future generations of students.