Talking the best medicine - GP

Celia Wigg Talking is the best medicine according to a Wymondham GP who retired on his sixtieth birthday after almost 33 years at the same practice.

Celia Wigg

TALKING is the best medicine according to a Wymondham GP who retired on his sixtieth birthday after almost 33 years at the same practice.

Dr David Seaton joined the Wymondham Medical Practice in January 1976 as a young man, having previously worked at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital before spending a year in New Zealand. And he has seen many changes over the decades including medical breakthroughs and new treatments, computerisation and the rapid expansion of the historic market town.

But he said: “The interesting thing is that our basic job of being a GP hasn't changed and that is the doctor-patient consultation of one to one. You make an appointment, you come in and see your GP and that's what people still like, and I think people can lose sight of that fact.

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“Sitting down with the patient in my surgery - that is our unit of work. What has changed is all the services that we provide with a much larger staff, with nurses and all of the primary care team. When I started we didn't have any practice nurses.”

The original surgery was established by Dr Lowe at the beginning of the 20th century at 28 Market Street, Wymondham - now an hotel - relocating to the health centre at Bridewell Street in 1983 and the current purpose-built premises at Postmill Close in 1998.

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“We were the first practice in Norfolk, when we moved to the health centre, to have physiotherapists working out in the practice rather than the hospital. The other big changes have been in what we refer patients for,” continued Dr Seaton.

“When I joined 32 years ago hip joint replacement surgery was really quite new and over the years there's been transplant surgery come in, and all the cardiac surgery for different heart conditions and things like treatment for cataracts, the whole of the range of day surgery, and the advances in the medicines that we prescribe. But the basic GP-patient consultation stands the test of time.”

His retirement plans include touring in Scotland with his wife and going to visit their daughter in New Zealand.

“I will miss my patients and the staff and colleagues because it's a great practice, and I would like to thank all my patients for their cards and generosity and best wishes,” added Dr Seaton, whose birthday on Friday was celebrated at the surgery.

His replacement is Dr Mike Ward, who previously worked at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and another practice before joining the team on Monday.

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