Sinclair Lough obituary

Other lives: Clinical psychologist who specialised in the care of older people

My friend and former colleague Sinclair Lough, who has died aged 62 following a stroke, was a clinical psychologist who specialised in the care of older people.

I first met Sinclair at the Faculty of the Psychology of Older People conference in Birmingham in 2000, where he was giving a talk on frontotemporal dementia. This was in the days before PowerPoint and Sinclair was struggling with a projector, but it quickly became apparent that he was more than able to talk about the subject without the slides.

His expertise was recognised by the faculty, which forms part of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the British Psychological Society. He was made editor of Psychology of Older People: The FPOP Bulletin (2004-07) and chair of the FPOP (2007-09). There will be a Sinclair Lough memorial lecture at this year’s FPOP conference at Churchill College, Cambridge, on 2 July, delivered by Professor John Hodges, on frontotemporal dementia.

Born in Glasgow, Sinclair was the son of Anne (nee Gourlay) and Samuel Lough. He and his sister grew up in Glenrothes, Fife, where he went to high school, before heading to Edinburgh University to study for a BSc in biology (psychology), then a PhD (1982).

Following postdoctoral research at the Medical Research Council’s applied psychology unit in Cambridge, Sinclair obtained his clinical qualification from the University of Leicester (1989). He returned to Cambridge to work for the health authority and Addenbrooke’s hospital as a clinical psychologist until 2003. His final role there was as head of services for older people.

After separating from his first wife, Fiona, a physiotherapist, Sinclair moved to Dorchester as head of Dorset’s clinical psychology service for older people. There he met Pam White, who was running the library services.

Sinclair had previously suffered from cancer, which returned. He continued to work, but did the things that were important to him, such as travelling and asking Pam to marry him. They wanted me to perform the ceremony, so I was ordained over the internet and the marriage took place in 2007 in Topanga Canyon, in Pam’s home state of California.

Sinclair took medical retirement two years ago and moved to Herne Bay, Kent. He was soon working again, as a locum and as an inspector for the Care Quality Commission. At the time of his death, Sinclair was due to relocate with Pam to Hawaii.

She survives him.

Chris Allen

The GuardianTramp

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