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The Origins of SODIT

I would like to thank all those who helped me piece together the ‘origins of SODIT’.  My apologies if there are inaccuracies within the following paragraphs.

The idea to form a Society of South-West Intensivists came at an alcohol fuelled ICS dinner at the Brighton Metropole in 1995.  The founders of Intensive Care in the Southwest; Julia Munn, Ray Sinclair, Iain Wilson, Andy Daykin, Giles Morgan and Pete MacNaughton (along with Chris Evans – the ex-Radio-1 DJ!!) decided that a regional, 6 monthly meeting and dinner would be a fantastic idea.

The name SODIT and the title of the Societies responsible officers, the SODOFFs, came from Iain Wilson of Exeter.  The failure of this name to include Cornwall and Somerset was overshadowed by the fact it’s a superb tongue-in-cheek name (and the first of its kind) so it stuck.

The first meeting was held at the now Bovey Castle in the Spring of 1996.  Both Tim Evans and Mervyn Singer contributed.

The quality of speakers has always been high with regular attendances form Merv Singer, Julia Wendon, Kathy Rowan, Alistair Short and Pete Nightingale.

After the first few years the meeting became an annual event.  It has taken place in venues all over the Southwest and for its 10-year anniversary in 2006 it was hosted on the Isles of Scilly.

In 2020 the meeting was cancelled for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hard fought pro-con debate has become an important feature, with Colin Ferguson being a regular, popular, and formidable participant.  The trainee prize presentations have always encouraged friendly competitiveness between centres and are also a regular feature of the meeting.

The spirit of SODIT is strong with an emphasis on mutual respect and shared learning.  The meetings are consistently high-quality and always a lot of fun.


Any person attending a meeting is immediately bestowed with the honour of being a life member.


Jennie Stephens

Consultant in Acute and Intensive Care Medicine

Royal Cornwall Hospital


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