Ewart Hood 1949-2020

A tribute from his wife and fellow Psychologist, Denise Johnson.

Ewart Hood was a Clinical Psychologist for 33 years. Born and brought up in Scotland, he graduated from Edinburgh University in 1971, and completed his Clinical MSc in Birmingham in 1973. 

Mary Reilly and John Elder, members of the tightly-knit cohort on the Birmingham course, remember:

         ‘Ewart was the one we went to with our worries and concerns. We knew that he would always make time for us, and that he was completely trustworthy with confidences.”

         ‘A man of firm moral principles who had the courage to express and enact them.’ 

         ‘That soft Scottish accent and lyrical turn of phrase, delivered with a warm smile and twinkly eyes, would disarm us all’

Ewart’s first NHS job was at Stanley Royd Hospital, Wakefield, where long stay patients were assessed for resettlement in the community. Ewart tried to live his values and was passionate about justice, freedom and equality. His sense of fairness and the importance of best practice was evident. He blew the whistle on poor practice with quiet courage and determination.  

Ewart moved to Cardiff in 1977, providing the first Clinical Psychology presence in Primary Care in Wales. He worked with the whole general practice team whilst teaching and supervising trainees in this new field.

Outside work he sang with an Anti-Apartheid Choir and Llandaff Cathedral singers. The patients appreciated his voice too, and there was often a queue for the relaxation tapes he made to assist people with anxiety.

In 1986 Ewart and the family moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He combined childcare (unusual then for a man) with work in Primary Care where he became a popular therapist and supervisor of trainee Clinical Psychologists. One of these, now a clinical lead herself, described him as ‘setting an example of how Clinical Psychology can best work in Primary Care. He gave me confidence to maintain an integrative and patient-centred approach.’ Ewart worked with refugees and others who had experienced trauma. He was highly valued by his colleagues, one GP describing how much he taught her about treating people as individuals, not conditions. He used his own experience of post traumatic epilepsy to illustrate his position. 

Ewart retired in 2004 aged 55, knowing there might be health challenges ahead and keen to travel and expand his skills. He continued to pursue his passion for music and was a founding member of North East Socialist Singers. He became a proficient upholsterer and baker, tended an allotment and took long distance cycling trips.  

As his health declined and since his death, tributes from those who knew Ewart share themes of kindness, patience and consideration for others, coupled with a strong sense of fairness.  

He is survived by myself (fellow Clinical Psychologist and wife Denise Johnson), daughter Alice and son Peter. Alice and Peter’s friends remember him as a warm, stable role model while they were growing up.

Ewart was not a high profile Psychologist, but nevertheless had a lasting influence on countless people: patients, colleagues, family and friends. 

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