This is my last update as a GP at Staunton Surgery as my official retirement date is the 31st of March. I’ve now completed half of my six courses of Chemotherapy and have so far come through unscathed. At the end of the treatment there will be a further MRI scan to see how effective it’s all been.
It was a delight to see so many of you at my retirement tea party recently. It was good to catch up with how you’re getting on and to keep you updated with my progress too.
For those of you who couldn’t make it, here is a shortened version of what I said.
“If the truth be told I wasn’t initially very keen to come to Leigh Park!
Back in the Spring of 1989 I was finishing my training as a GP at Lake Road Surgery and my trainer hinted that there was a GP post going in Havant that I ought to take a look at. 2-3 weeks later, following my inactivity he told me in no uncertain terms to go and see the Senior Partner Dr Cym Ryle. I did so and quickly realised that I would fit in here. Before starting Dr Blatch, the retiring GP took me round to meet his special long-term patients to sure they would be in safe hands.
The only medical link in my family was my grandfather who was a stretcher bearer in the trenches, recording in his diary going into no-mans-land at night to retrieve casualties after the battle of the Somme in July 1916. His son, my father, was for 31 yrs was Rector of Beccles, the small town in Suffolk where I grew up.
Although I didn’t share my father’s career I did share the same faith and that as some of you know has been a central part of how I’ve tried to practice, to treat each patient with the respect and uniqueness as beholds another of God’s children. Many mornings on the drive in from Southsea as I came off the A27 I would say a short prayer ‘Lord would you give me wisdom and compassion’. Some days much more compassion is needed than wisdom and I’m still acutely aware of the times when I’m been lacking in either and sometimes both. If you were on the other side of the desk on one of those days then please accept my apologies.
General Practice is a calling of infinite variety and endlessly fascinating. Although there’s much that is hard to bear – sadness, loss, pain and bereavement: there is also much that is joyful, interesting and sometimes even funny! Home visits are a particular pleasure, they are such a privilege and there’s so much more you can discover or detect when you see patients at home. They get you out of the surgery and keep you on your toes but are time consuming too!
It’s been a great privilege to serve you as your GP and friend over the past 28 years. I had hoped to match or exceed my predecessor’s 30 yrs but sadly that’s not to be. I hope you will understand the reasons why and forgive me for falling short of my target.
In the strange way that events have turned out I have how joined with you in becoming a patient myself; subject to the same hopes and fears, the same issues with appointments and problems with hospitals as you: but I know in whom I trust for my future, how ever long or short it turns out to be, and I know I shall carry your love and best wishes with me wherever I go.
Thank you for that and may God bless you all. ”
Dr Roger Sutton.