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Stephen Charkham, former chief executive of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association, has died suddenly, aged 64. He had been the public face of the HCSA for 25 years. Mr Charkham was noted for his forthright and exuberant personality, particularly when championing the consultants' cause on issues such as workload growth and pay claims. He retired in February after holding the post of chief executive for 10 years. He had worked his way up from part-time press officer. A keen golfer, like many of those he represented, he had planned to spend more time on the course.