Thursday, 20 June 2019

GP couple retire after 28 years running ‘friendly’ surgery

GP couple retire after 28 years running ‘friendly’ surgery

A COUPLE who run a doctors’ practice in Caversham are retiring.

Drs Harold and Janet Chadwick will leave the Peppard Road Surgery on June 30 after 28 years and the practice will close.

The couple moved from Redbourn, near St Albans, in 1991 to take over the patients of Dr Conrad Latto, a former surgeon at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, who had practised from his home in The Mount, Caversham. They now look after about 2,600 patients.

Mr Chadwick, 64, said: “I think it’s the right time really for us to go. It has been lovely to have the practice all these years but at 64 we don’t know how fit we’re going to be over the next few years.

“We want to go in a controlled way and at the right time.”

He said he and his wife had set out to provide a friendly and convenient service for patients, adding: “They want to be seen when they want to be seen and, if possible, by the same doctor.

“That’s how we have tried to run our practice. It has been a joy dealing with the patients and the staff have been great and very loyal.

“What hasn’t been so great is that over that almost 30-year period we have had to do more and more administrative and clerical tasks — there has been more and more of what I call ‘the nonsense’.”

“The NHS authorities don’t want to encourage small practices, they want to build them into bigger units. They want to provide what they call an ‘extended range of services’.”

Mrs Chadwick, 66, said: “Over the years we have gained the confidence of the community. Hopefully, we’re going to continue to do locum work. I’m sad to be retiring having started at medical school in 1970. I’m a third generation medic and it’s the end of a generation really.

“I think Harold has been absolutely diligent — it has been his idea and his method and he has led. I’ve tried to modernise him the best I can!

“We mustn’t knock the NHS — when you’re seriously ill it’s there for us.”

The couple, who have four children and eight grandchildren, are looking forward to spending more time with their family.

Mr Chadwick said he wanted to teach his grandchildren to sail and take a part-time maths course. His wife said she wanted to practise her French.

The couple’s patients will be allocated new surgeries.

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