End of an era as doctor retires

Thu 04th February 2016

One of the borough’s longest-serving GPs retired on Sunday 7 February.

Dr Philip Abraham had served the same practice for 36 years which he believes is a record. Other GPs in the borough have clocked up more years, although not with a single practice.

Dr Abraham worked at the Garden Park Surgery in Howdon, Wallsend, and its subsidiary, the White Swan Surgery in Killingworth, since 1980.

Reflecting on his time there, and the advances made in medicine over the past 30-odd years, he said: “General practice is much better today than it was all those years ago. There has been a huge improvement in the quality of life for patients with long-term conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, heart disease, asthma and dementia.

“I have seen a drastic reduction in the number of strokes and heart attacks, mainly due to better control of blood pressure and diabetes and more people taking statins.

“The primary health care team has developed over the years and is now a multi-disciplinary team all working together to help to provide the best possible care for our patients.”

This care is evident in the fact that Dr Abraham’s practice has been awarded almost the top rating on the NHS Choices website – four and a half out of five stars – with comments ranging from, “I have nothing but praise for this surgery … a strong team and it shows,” to “From the moment you walk in the door, it is a first-class service”.

After such a busy working life, Dr Abraham now plans to take it a little easier during his retirement. He said: “I have enjoyed every minute of working in the NHS and still do enjoy practising but I would now like to spend more time with my family.”

Paying tribute, colleague Dr John Matthews, a local GP and Clinical Chair of NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This really is the end of an era. Philip Abraham has been an outstanding general practitioner and has helped thousands of patients across North Tyneside over the years.

“He has seen children born, grow up and now bring in their own children to see him and, as the senior partner in his practice, has helped nurture his fellow GPs’ careers.

“He will be a great miss now that he has decided to step down after 36 years serving the community. My colleagues and I wish him a long and happy retirement.”