A message to patients from Dr Simon Hughes

After nearly 30 years, I have decided to retire from the partnership in Barton. Words can’t express what a privilege it has been to be a Family Doctor in Barton and surrounds for this time and I have enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people. I am grateful to you for sharing with me your happy times, such the birth of children (including watching them grow up), and of course sharing the inevitable sad times and I hope I was able to be help to at least some of you some of the time. I was also so touched by how supportive the patients of the Practice were when my son was seriously ill 10 years ago. Even today people ask me how he is doing, and I really appreciate people’s interest.

When I joined Drs Taylor, Sydenham and Glaze, General Practice was experiencing a lot of change which was challenging, and unfortunately, I am now leaving at a time of even greater change and challenge for the profession. The pandemic has caused us all to seek new ways of working which has undoubtedly had some significant benefits, but we fully acknowledge that we would prefer to see more patients face to face. However, we must also recognise that the pandemic has not gone away and with rising rates we are walking a tightrope between keeping patients and staff safe from covid and yet providing as many face to face appointments as we feel appropriate. But I cannot emphasise enough that General Practice in the UK was struggling long before COVID hit us all and all those problems haven’t gone away.

On a more positive note, we have been able to appoint 2 new partners at a time of falling numbers of GPs and please be assured the partners in Barton are all excellent. I have been truly fortunate to have always been in partnership with amazingly knowledgeable, skilled doctors who are hugely committed and hardworking. I never once wished for better, and they have all become reliable friends. The staff are also incredibly committed to the patients and the Practice ably led by Mrs Gill Hiscox the Practice Manager and again I count myself to be amongst the luckiest of GPs to have been support by one of the best Practice Managers in England for more than the last 20 years. Our staff have become much busier, in just the same way life has got busier and much more complex for the doctors, but they soldier on day after day despite it being extremely difficult at times. I would therefore ask you at this time of change for Barton and indeed even greater change for the whole profession that you are patient with the Practice and especially our dedicated staff team so that Drs Sulakshana, Gurram, Randall, Narayanan, Ahmed and Hawash can continue to serve you to the best of their ability. There will be challenges and difficulties but compared with many Practices we are in a strong position, but no-one including the patients should take this for granted. The Practice needs your support to keep going. Please help us to help you.

I shall miss everyone.

Simon Hughes