Dr Ian Joiner born 1931, died April 11th 2019, Sobriety date 1989
It would be true to say that Ian Joiner was the founding member of the Sick Doctors Trust.
It was in the Petersfield Group of the BDDG (the British Doctors & Dentists Group) in the early 1990’s that things started. Kevin Collins was also a member of that BDDG group and was active in the Sick Dentists Scheme, helping dentists with substance abuse problems. Discussion arose as to why the Doctors had no organisation like the Dentist’s scheme.
With encouragement from Kevin, and Joe Mee (also from Sick Dentists Scheme) Ian Joiner started contacting recovering doctors in BDDG and Alcoholics Anonymous. Initial meetings were in Ian and Anne’s own home in Farnham.
With Ian’s enthusiasm and organisational expertise this small group was soon developed into a plc with charity status.A telephone helpline was set up and for several years Ian also managed this from his home and answered all the calls himself.
With Ian as Chief Executive, the SDT was guided through its formative years.
For many years Ian was at the centre of things, active in the SDT, BDDG and AA.
He was the SDT’s principal ambassador liaising with, and influencing thinking in BMA, GMC, DHSS and other government bodies. He was not afraid to reveal his own problems with alcohol in order to get his message across which was particularly brave given there was even more negativity and lack of understanding surrounding drug and alcohol problems in the 1990s than there is now.
With his wife Ann’s ill-heath and her death in 2013, Ian stepped back a little from the frontline. He was made a patron of the SDT. In more recent times his own ill-health curtailed his activities.
His contribution was immense. Without him the SDT would not be what it is, and his efforts contributed significantly to the services we now have for addicted doctors. At many BDDG conventions, if anyone had a query, the answer was, on many occasions ‘I don’t know, ask Ian’. He was a great source of knowledge, contacts and wisdom.
There is an unknown number of healthy, happy, sober doctors practising in the UK today for whom hearing Ian’s voice on the phone was the first step in their recovery from addiction.
He will be missed tremendously for his upbeat attitude, sense of humour and wisdom. Thank you Ian for all you did for the community of addicted doctors and dentists.