FAMILY and colleagues have paid tribute to a leading light in the NHS, who died after falling up to 60ft while fellwalking.
William Bingley, from Caton, slipped from a path at Ravenstonedale, Kirkby Stephen, on Sunday lunchtime, plunged into a river below and suffered a serious head injury.
Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team were called out at around 12.20pm, and Mr Bingley, 61, was winched from the water by an RAF helicopter.
But he was declared dead on arrival at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.
Mr Bingley had recently quit as chair of the NHS North Lancashire primary care trust, wanting to spend more time running his charity, the Abaseen Foundation, alongside his wife Helen. It raises money for people in Khyber Pakhthunwa, in Pakistan.
A trained lawyer, he was also director of his own consultancy firm, Bingley Consulting Ltd, which advises public authorities. He wrote the Code of Practice for the 1983 Mental Health Act, and was chief executive of the Mental Health Commission from 1990-2000.
He was also an expert in human rights and diversity. He moved to North Lancashire in 2000 to become professor of mental health law and ethics at the University of Central Lancashire.
See the Lancaster Guardian (04-08-11) for full story.