David Whitehead Carrington (1933–2023)

On 20 October 2023, David Whitehead Carrington, aged 90 years, of Norfolk. Mr Carrington registered with the Society in 1954 and was made a Fellow in 1976.

Mr Carrington’s funeral and celebration of his life will take place on 10 November 2023, at Stoke-Holy-Cross Parish Church from 12:00.


Those of us who knew David will be saddened to hear of the death of my dear boss, friend and mentor, David Carrington, or ‘Mr C’ as fondly known by colleagues. I want to share my own recollections of David.

I first met David as a preregistration pharmacist in 1981, and had the pleasure and privilege of working with him for the rest of his working life, and knowing him as a friend throughout his long and happy retirement. I can truly say it was an honour to have worked with and be mentored by this wonderful pharmacist, a true gentleman in every sense of the word.

After school in Leicester, at Owston Primary and Melton Mowbray Grammar, David gained a place at Leicester School of Pharmacy (1951–1953). His natural ability in science and a headmaster with friends at the school of pharmacy steered him into the profession. David threw himself into his studies, co-authoring a book on pharmaceutics, ‘Corporation and Gown’ with Colin Gunn, head of faculty, and gained an MPhil in 1979 from the University of Bradford on cross infection in hospitals. David’s interest in self-development extended into his staff and teams, always finding the funding from ‘somewhere’. As an example, David was among the first to support pharmacists in undertaking further education and development in the now ‘bread and butter’ speciality of clinical pharmacy.

David completed his preregistration training before being called up to undertake national service, serving in two active war zones: Ismailia, Egypt and Nicosia, Cyprus, all the time working as a pharmacist. Demobbed David then began a lifetime career in hospital pharmacy, starting at Leicester Royal Infirmary, rapidly rising to chief pharmacist through career moves to Chesterfield, Bishop Stortford, Treliske General, and finally taking up a post at the Norfolk and Norwich (N&N) in 1970. From the N&N, David became district pharmaceutical officer for Norfolk Health Authority, moving back into hospital pharmacy, following reorganisation, and served as director of pharmacy until his retirement in 1997.

During his career, David was at the start and helped form the development of pharmacy services as we know them today. His achievements are many but most notable include pushing forward the role of the pharmacist by ensuring participation in the first postgraduate diploma in clinical pharmacy, leading to the career path of clinical pharmacy, and chairing the organising committee for the British Pharmaceutical Conference in 1975 to showcase the profession. He also looked at service development through such examples as the inception and delivery of the ‘DUMP’ campaign for the safe disposal of medicines.

David was committed to the NHS, but this paled in insignificance compared with his love for his family and his deep-seated faith, both of which he vigorously protected and cherished. I was lucky enough to know David as a family man and the rich and varied life he led outside work. He was a man of culture, having numerous hobbies and interests, but I think what David most enjoyed was the pleasure of entertaining, being an accomplished cook and excellent communicator. With Vivian, they would readily fill their home with family and friends, taking pleasure in their company.

David’s love of his family was always evident and they must be bereft at his loss. Our thoughts are with his wife, Vivian, and their children, Mark, Julia and Clare.

Rest in peace Mr C.

Carol Farrow

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, October 2023, Vol 311, No 7978;311(7978)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2023.1.199318

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