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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Patients queue for four hours to thank retiring GP

Patients queued for four hours to thank a retiring GP who colleagues said would phone patients at 10pm to tell them their test results.

Dr Richard Hughes, 60, retired from Hanway Medical Practice in Portsmouth last month. Patients of the practice organised a special afternoon so they could thank him for his services on 10 May – with some queuing for four hours to meet him.

Richard Hughes patients queue

After doing his training at the surgery, Dr Hughes stayed on for a further 32 years and was senior partner for the last ten.

Dr Hughes said: ‘I couldn’t have asked for a better team. The key to success is to have a brilliant team around you – that’s it in a nutshell. I made the decision to retire for practical reasons, not least getting older, and I would not be able to keep up the pace. I recognised my limitations.’

Practice manager at the surgery Denise Fenton said Dr Hughes was something to aspire to.

‘As a partner he was something to aspire to. He used to even call patients at 10pm at night to tell them their test results. It’s not sustainable anymore for GPs to deliver a service like this as there is too much for them to do. It’s not because they don’t want to, but they have to do lots of box ticking.

‘He knew most patients by name, made them feel valued and treated them as individuals. Nothing was too much trouble. His retirement is a massive loss to the practice and he will be missed by his colleagues, staff and patients alike.’

Dr Hughes said that he now plans to develop his hobbies and see more of his family.

Readers' comments (16)

  • Vinci Ho

    Salute!
    GPs of the 'golden generation' served with benevolence and honour in this profession
    Live long and prosper.........

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  • What a lovely cheery story in the midst of all this doom and gloom we face! Happy Retirement Dr Hughes- You deserve it !

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  • He deserves a happy retirement.

    There is a growing trend for the full timers to retire and I'm not sure part timers can ever do the job

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  • Good luck that man.

    We sometimes have patients queuing for 4 hours to see a doctor, but in a different way.

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  • I genuinely hope Dr Hughes has a long and happy retirement- well deserved after all those years of dedicated practice- well done.
    However, very interesting that he mentions concerns about " keeping up with the pace" as a readson to retire.
    His generation are still fortunate to be able to retire at 60 years of age.
    I am 48 with the prospect of working to the age of 67/68
    I have genuine concerns about " keeping up with the pace" as I get older.
    It can be a major problem at 48 years old !!! let alone the prospect of working into your late 60s.
    General practice is fast becoming a " sold out " profession.

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  • Dr Mustapha Tahir

    Perhaps Patients' feedbacks are much better at telling the Government how good and valued GPs are, much more than the expensive Revalidation exercise.

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  • As a patient representative on Patients Forum and as a Chair of Bedfordshire LINk I remember well some of the Enter and View Visits to GP practices. Those single-handed surgeries had a very loyal and supportive patient group. One visit to a Dunstable practice had patients coming into the surgery who knew we were to visit just in order to say how much they loved and appreciated 'their' doctor - even some had lengthy bus journeys. However, what was apparent was that many of such practices struggled with enormous patient populations (increased by patient recommendations) and also with the changes to modern practice.

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  • His timing is impeccable

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  • Good luck and Happy retirement Dr Hughes you are a role model

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  • Dr Hughes, you are an inspiration, thank you pulse for sharing this story.

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