Colleagues and friends paid tribute to two long-standing health professionals at a retirement party at Lynn Town Hall last week.
Dr Alan Heath retired from Southgates Medical and Surgical Centre and Norfolk Surgical and Diagnostic Centres last week, while general manager of Southgates, Noel McGivern, will be leaving at the end of May.
Dr Heath has led and run the NSDC clinics at the Coach House at Southgates for numerous years and has been a partner at the Southgates GP practice since September 1984 and first served in Norfolk in 1981.
He was instrumental in the launch of the NSDC in 1995. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and regularly performs in excess of 1,500 procedures a year for NSDC across a range of specialities, including dermatology, orthopaedics and general surgery.
He said: “I’ve worked in Norfolk as a local GP and surgeon for over 30 years and served the local community to help ease pressure from local hospitals. A passion of mine is to enable surgery to be carried out in local GP practices for those patients that may not need to go to hospital and would prefer to be treated in a local, friendly and convenient environment.”
Dr Laurence Atkinson, another Southgates GP and chairman of NSDC, said: “NSDC provides a credible alternative for patients and helps to relieve the unrelenting pressure on our local hospitals by offering treatment in the community. NSDC supports the demand from patients who want choice, shorter waiting times and a less stressful environment for their procedure.”
More than 150 people attended last week’s party and a separate patient event will be held in May.
Both Dr Heath and Mr McGivern requested no presents but asked instead for donations to the charity, Médicins Sans Frontières as Dr Heath plans to do some work for them in his retirement.
Mr McGivern retires from Southgates Medical and Surgical Centre after working as its general manager since 1993. He joined the NHS as a management trainee in 1972.
During his time at Southgates he oversaw five extensions with one being the conversion of the Coach House to an operating theatre for NSDC clinics. In the future Dr Heath’s NSDC’s clinics will be run by local and visiting surgeons. Simon Temple will take over from Mr McGivern.