Dr calling time on 16 years at surgery

A DOCTOR who has been at Wragby Surgery for 16 years has set a date for his retirement following a stressful period.

Dr Whitbread is due to leave his position on November 30 after helping thousands of patients in the village and surrounding area.

The 59-year-old says that, although he was due to retire soon anyway, a number of issues have precipitated his departure.

Patient numbers have rapidly increased and there is a lack of space and shortage of car parking.

Doctors have had to share the consultation room and attempts by Dr Whitbread to expand by purchasing the neighbouring Wragby Resource Centre when it was put on the market in November, 2011, failed.

Plans by Dr Whitbread to open a pharmacy in Wragby, a facility currently lacking in the village, also failed.

He submitted an application to open a pharmacy in 2008 which was rejected by Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust.

Dr Whitbread was hoping there would be future opportunities to open a pharmacy and believed purchasing the Resource Centre would have provided the space for this.

He said: “It’s very much in the public interest for the surgery to get this building.”

Now he is worried about the financial implications of somebody else opening a pharmacy.

He said: “The practice will lose half of our income from dispensing as we will not be allowed to dispense to any patient who lives within a one-mile radius of the pharmacy.”

Wragby Surgery was opened in 2000 after a joint development process with Lincolnshire County Council, which involved creating Old Grammar School Way and then building the surgery and Wragby and District Research Centre, which have a shared car park.

Dr Whitbread has formed a new partnership at the surgery with Dr Philip Mitchell and nurses Sandra Tindall and Sally Wood.

Whether the practice will find a replacement for Dr Whitbread remains to be seen.

Dr Whitbread said: “I have been a GP in Wragby since February 1996 and I believe I have developed a first-class practice.

“It had been my intention to continue to work here for another five years. Indeed it has been a privilege to serve in this community.

“After being here for 16 years, it would be nice to think it’s being handed over with a good future and not with any accommodation issues.”

After retiring, Dr Whitbread is planning on volunteering in Nepal and East Africa.

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust said that there had been a number of applications to create a stand alone pharmacy in Wragby in the past, but there were no applications and no plans for one to be created at the present time.