Tributes paid to a well known Prestatyn GP


Matt Jones

TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-known Prestatyn GP and local politician described as the inspiration behind the establishment of St Kentigern Hospice.

Dr Anne Ferguson Macleod, 87, who died at her home on January 4 after a short illness, was a pioneer for women's right to contraception in the area.

In the 1960s Dr Macleod (right) made national headlines after the then Bishop of St Asaph condemned her for dispensing the pill to unmarried women in her Family Planning Association surgery.

Son Rory Macleod, 59, who lives in Oxford, said: "She had a very forceful and dynamic personality.

“She was a role model to women throughout her life. It was something she felt very strongly about, that women were equal to men and had the right to get access to contraception. It seems obvious now but it was revolutionary in North Wales back in the 1960s.”

When in the 1960s Penisadre Farm at the bottom of Prestatyn High Street was demolished to make way for a shopping precinct, she was so angry at the destruction of the town's heritage she decided to go into local politics.

She served Prestatyn from 1967 onwards as an independent on Prestatyn Urban District Council, Rhuddlan Borough Council and both Flintshire and Clwyd county councils.

She is also survived by daughter Gill, sons Neil and Fergus, 11 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and former husband Douglas.

Dr Macleod was born into a distinguished medical family in Glasgow, Ferguson Smith’s disease is named after her father, and her brother Malcolm is a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Despite suffering an abscess on her spine in 1987 which left her partly paralysed she returned to medical practice and politics, and remained active until very recently.

Dr Macleod worked as a GP in the area for 40 years and became involved with the campaign for a hospice after seeing a close friend succumb to the disease.

Lady Langford, patron of St Kentigern Hospice, said the unit would probably not have got off the ground without Dr Macleod's foresight and determination.

“At that time little was known about hospices and palliative car but she saw the need for it in North Denbighshire. She fought very hard and her guidance has contributed so much to its success,” she said.

“Her professional input was enormous. She was quite rightly proud of what St Kentigern has become.”

A service to celebrate her life will be held at St Melyd Church, Meliden on Monday, January 14, at midday with no flowers and donations to St Kentigern Hospice.

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