Born and raised in the Scottish Highlands, after completing undergraduate training at the University of Edinburgh, Dr Michael Farquhar trained in general paediatrics, respiratory medicine and sleep medicine at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Glasgow), Nottingham Children's Hospital, The Children's Hospital at Westmead (Sydney), Sydney Children's Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital (London).
Mike joined the Evelina London sleep medicine team as a consultant in 2012. He holds weekly general sleep, hypersomnia and adolescent sleep clinics, and supports Evelina London’s busy diagnostic sleep study service. He also works with colleagues across Evelina London to support sleep in children and young people with complex medical difficulties.
Mike and colleagues from the Department of Children’s Sleep Medicine worked with the PHSE Association to develop lesson plans to introduce teaching about sleep into the Personal, Health, Social and Economic curriculum in schools across England, emphasising the importance of helping all children, young people – and their families – to prioritise sleep in their lives.
Mike is involved in educating healthcare professionals on the importance of sleep and the impact of fatigue on healthcare, with a focus on sleep for staff working night shifts. His work led to the introduction of the “HALT: Take A Break” campaign for Guy's and St Thomas' staff in 2017, and he has worked with organisations including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland, the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of Nursing and the British Medical Association in this area. He has been recognised with the Association of Anaesthetists Association Award and the Royal College of Anaesthetics Humphry Davy Award for his contributions to the #FightFatigue campaign, as well as the 2020 BMJ Award for Workforce and Wellbeing Team .
Mike is an advocate for LGBT+ people, particularly young LGBT+ people, especially in the context of accessing NHS healthcare. He helped develop and pilot the Rainbow NHS Badge scheme at Evelina London which, following a successful launch across the NHS in England in 2019 has now been adopted by NHS England and an expanded Phase II of the project is being rolled out across NHS England by a commissioned collaboration between the LGBT Foundation, Stonewall, LGBT Switchboard, the LGBT Consortium and GLADD.
In recognition of his work, Mike was awarded the Guy's and St Thomas' Individual Trust Award in the "Respecting Others" category in 2018. In 2019, he was awarded both the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Voice Champion Award, selected by children and young people themselves, and the inaugural Inspiration Award at the Proud Scotland Awards for his LGBT+ advocacy work for young people.
Dr Farquhar has a limited capacity to accept invitations to talk at hospitals/conferences, on topics including paediatric sleep medicine, the impact of fatigue in the context of providing healthcare, and challenges faced by LGBT+ young people. Invitations should be sent to Dr Farquhar’s secretary in the first instance.
Dr Farquhar is a member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the British Paediatric Sleep Association, the British Sleep Society, the European Sleep Research Society and the British Paediatric Respiratory Society
Mike can be found on Twitter @DrMikeFarquhar, where he regularly tweets about sleep-related issues affecting children and young people, as well as the importance of acknowledging the impact of workplace fatigue, and more general sleep issues.
Away from work, Mike enjoys spending time in London’s theatres… and can still often be found reading X-Men comics.