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Frome GP retires after 35 years

Dr Nick Whitehead.

Dr Nick Whitehead.

After 35 years serving as a GP in Frome, Dr Nicholas Whitehead has finally decided to hang up his stethoscope and retire from practice. 

Dr Whitehead will of course be known to many hundreds of local families that he has helped look after over the years.

Dr Whitehead said, “There comes a time when, sadly, everyone has to retire from their job and that time is now right for me. However, I am going to sorely miss the daily contact with so many friends, patients and professional colleagues.

“I arrived in Frome as a new GP back in 1979 and right from the very start I was made to feel at home. The people of Frome have proved to be a vibrant, optimistic and welcoming bunch, and have been an absolute delight to work amongst.”

During his 35 years working as a GP in the town, Dr Whitehead was at one time the senior partner at the Frome Medical Practice. Other highlights of his career include qualifying to be a GP trainer.

Dr Whitehead also points to the short period when as ‘Fund Holders’, the practice was responsible for organising and purchasing most of the care for their own patients and whilst being cost effective could still be sensitive to the needs of the patient.

The current senior partner at the Frome Medical Practice is Dr Tina Merry. She said, “This is a really sad day to see Nick’s last day working in our new medical centre building. It is not just his colleagues here who will miss him, but his many patients and their families he has served over so many years.

“He is a quite exceptional and gifted GP committed to the NHS and everything that it stands for.

“Nick leaves with our very best wishes for his future. He will be sorely missed.”

As a final word on leaving practice, Dr Whitehead urges his remaining colleagues and patients to ensure that the NHS continues to serve its original purpose.

He said, “This is a really difficult and challenging time for the NHS and general practice. The population is rising, people are living longer and there are now fewer numbers paying tax. Longer life expectation brings with it complicated illnesses that need monitoring and treatment.

“Difficult decisions have to be made but we must fight an agenda of letting the NHS whither on the vine.

“If anyone has travelled abroad then they will realise how privileged we are to have the NHS. We should cherish it and battle for the continuation of the NHS for the sake of our grandchildren.”