Henry Marsh (neurosurgeon)

Marsh visiting Ternopil State Medical University in September 2016
For the British surgeon born in 1790, see Henry Marsh (surgeon).

Henry Thomas Marsh CBE FRCS (born 5 March 1950) is a leading British neurosurgeon, and a pioneer of neurosurgical advances in Ukraine. His widely acclaimed memoir Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery was published by Orion Publishers in 2014[1] and according to The Economist is "So elegantly written it is little wonder some say that in Mr Marsh neurosurgery has found its Boswell."[2]


Early life and educationEdit

Marsh attended the Dragon School in Oxford[3] and Westminster School in London. Later he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at University College, Oxford University, achieving First Class Honours, before graduating with Honours in Medicine from the Royal Free Medical School.


Marsh was until 2015 the senior consultant neurosurgeon at the Atkinson Morley Wing at St George's Hospital, south London, one of the country's largest specialist brain surgery units.

He specialises in operating on the brain under local anaesthetic and was the subject of a major BBC documentary Your Life in Their Hands[4] in 2004, which won the Royal Television Society Gold Medal.

He has been working with neurosurgeons in the former Soviet Union, mainly in Ukraine with protégé neurosurgeon Igor Kurilets, since 1992 and his work there was the subject of the BBC Storyville film The English Surgeon from 2007.[5]

He has a particular interest in the influence of hospital buildings and design on patient outcomes and staff morale; he has broadcast and lectured widely on this subject.

Awards and honoursEdit

Marsh was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours.[6] Also in 2010 he presented the Leslie Oliver Oration at Queen's Hospital.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Marsh is married to the social anthropologist Kate Fox and spends his spare time making furniture and keeping bees.[8]


  1. ^ Marsh, Henry (2014). Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery. Orion. ISBN 978-0297869870. 
  2. ^ "Books of the Year: Page turners". The Economist. 6 Dec 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "OD News". The OD. Vol. 1. Dragon School. 2011. p. 22. 
  4. ^ "I was awake during brain surgery". BBC News. BBC. 9 March 2004. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  5. ^ Sanderson, Greg (28 March 2008). "Brain surgery with a DIY drill". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  6. ^ "(Supplement) no. 59446". The London Gazette. 12 June 2010. p. 23. 
  7. ^ "Third Annual Leslie Oliver Oration". Neurosurgery News. Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust. 16 January 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Wagner, Erica (March 2014). "Life and death at his fingertips: watching a brain surgeon at work". New Statesman. 

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit