Dr James Oliver grew up in Wiltshire and has family connections to Cornwall.  Having completed his medical training at Cambridge University, James has spent virtually his whole medical career working in Cornwall.

After completing his postgraduate training at Treliske and West Cornwall Hospitals, the bulk of his medical career has been the 24 years he spent working as a GP in Mullion. Whilst at Mullion, as well as his usual GP duties, James helped Addaction to set up the Community Hospital Alcohol Detox (CHAD) programme - which continues to run at Helston Hospital to this day.

In 2014 he left Mullion and started doing locum sessions with Cornwall Health for Homeless, a GP Practice specifically for people experiencing homelessness. He was appointed a full member of the team there in 2015 and served as Lead GP between 2016-2020.

Having formally retired from Health for Homeless in April 2022, James intends to maintain his links with the organisation - to provide some ongoing support with both service delivery and the development of new projects.

James believes that one of the main problems facing people experiencing homelessness, is that when they seek medical support, it often leads to over-medication. In his opinion, applying labels to people is of little practical value and does a great deal to obscure their underlying individual personalities, ambitions and circumstances. In his view, the way to help most people experiencing homelessness is not through more diagnosis, referrals and treatments, but through more active listening, encouragement and opportunities. He is therefore passionate about trying to work across different agencies so as to maximise the number of available pathways through which people can effectively ‘live’ their way out of their difficulties.

When not at work, James likes to spend his time writing and performing with local drama groups as well as singing with the Mullion village choir. He has many years’ experience of ignoring the various musical instruments cluttering up his home office. He hopes that, now he is supposedly retired, he might actually get a chance to play them once in a while.