Sir Miles Irving was educated at Liverpool University (MB ChB 1959, MD 1962 ChM 1968) He originally held house appointments in Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne. from 1972-4 he was assistant director of the professorial surgical unit and reader in surgery at St Bartholomew's Hospital London. In 1974 he was elected to the chair of surgery at the University of Manchester and honorary consultant surgeon at Hope hospital, Salford. He retired from these posts in 1999. From 1992-4 he was regional director of research and development at the North West Regional Health Authority.
Sir Miles has been responsible for the establishment of the MRC Trauma Unit at Hope Hospital, Salford, which was formerly the MRC Experimental Pathology of Injury Section, Carshalton; this was the first MRC unit of the University of Manchester. He was also responsible for the UK's first Intestinal Failure Unit at Hope Hospital, which is now the UK's largest Home Parenteral Nutrition Unit. He was responsible for establishing the University hair on accident and emergency medicine, to which David Yates was appointed [see MMC/2/YatesD] . Professor Irving was also the first director of Health Technology Assessment for NHS R & D which established health technology assessment as a formal foundation for the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.
Sir Miles was president of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland in 1995/6 and president of Manchester Medical Society in 1999/2000. In November 1998 he was appointed chairman of the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust. He was knighted in 1995. Sir Miles is the author of many publications, particularly in the field of gastroenterology and coloproctology.