DR PHILIP Lloyd-Jones retired last Thursday exactly 26 years to the day after he started at Wickhambrook Surgery.
Since he became a partner in 1986, surgery life has changed a great deal, especially how much is now done in the surgery instead of referring people to out-patient clinics.
“When I joined there were two of us and it had been like that since the middle of the 19th century,” he said. “There were a few part-time staff and a nurse who did two sessions a week and acted as receptionist the rest of the time.”
Now there are four doctors plus doctors in training, two nurses, health care assistants, dispensing staff and secretarial and management staff.
In addition a physiotherapist, chiropodist and psychological counsellor do sessions there.
“The number of patients is similar, but the amount of work is a lot more because it has become more complex,” he said. “The surgery works because it has a very good, friendly team.”
Dr Lloyd-Jones’s father and grandfather were doctors in Bridgenorth and he recalls being fascinated by the articles in their medical journals as a child. It was an enthusiasm his own son and two daughters did not share, which is why they have not followed in father’s footsteps.
He qualified at Birmingham Medical School in 1979 and worked in various hospitals around the West Midlands, having designed his own GP training scheme because there were things he felt he should experience first.
In the end, Suffolk chose him. “At that time there were usually 100 or more applicants for each partnership vacancy,” he said. “In East Anglia there were quite a few doctors retiring and the population was expanding.
“I’m glad I came because we’ve been very happy here.”
His replacement will be Dr Jon Ferdinand, who has been a GP in Bury St Edmunds and has worked on the new practice treatment commissioning system.
Dr Lloyd-Jones, 57, has set himself a busy schedule for retirement having started zumba classes and planning to do things he has not had time for, like more of the long distance walks he enjoys. He also has plans for photography and Italian classes.