1.       The New Radiology Department
2.       Bob Russell Retires
3.       The Stretton Dynasty
4.       The Bewdley Practice 1952 - 92
5.       Malcolm Elliott Retires

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On the 25th November 1992, Dr. Malcolm Elliott, recently retired consultant radiologist returned to perform the opening ceremony for the newly extended radiology department at Kidderminster General Hospital , Bewdley Road .

The new patient facilities include an additional general radiography room equipped with new equipment; a two bed 'recovery area' for patients who have had sedation or who are having prolonged procedures ( e.g. barium follow through); a new improved ultrasound room and new changing cubicles, waiting areas and toilets including facilities purpose designed for the disabled. The department now also has, for the first time, individual consultant offices and a new reception/film sorting/secretarial area.

These facilities will enable the Bewdley Road department to take on the work currently done at Mill Street when that closes. In the interim, there is spare physical space at Bewdley Road, and if purchasers wish to fund extra work we are ready and willing to oblige (proposals have been sent to all GP practices and DHA purchasers). We are very keen to increase access to CT scanning and MRI for Kidderminster patients. Within the next 5 years we feel an on site CT scanner is essential and we have identified space in the department. We need the support of purchasers for this and your comments and ideas are invited.

Umesh Udeshi

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Bob Russell Retires

Villagers bade a fond farewell to GP Dr. Bob Russell, who retired from his Chaddesley Corbett practice after 19 years.More than 200 residents met at Winterfold House School to say goodbye to their village doctor.As a parting gift they have raised 2000 to pay for a minoroperations room to be built at the village surgery.

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In these times of change, it may be reassuring to reflect on the history of Medicine in Kidderminster . The sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed a new arrival in the foyer of the Post Graduate medical centre; the bust to which I refer is that of Samuel Stretton, the first of three generations of Strettons who worked as surgeons in Kidderminster .

The Crimean war produced huge improvements in the survival of war casualties. Florence Nightingale established a base hospital as Scutari (now Uskudar), on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, and with a handful of nurses and minimal equipment, reduced the mortality rate amongst wounded and sick soldiers from 42 per hundred to 22 per thousand!

Samuel Stretton served as a surgeon on the Crimean war and would have been greatly I influenced by these nursing advances. After the treaty of Paris in 1856 he settled in I Kidderminster as a consulting surgeon and partner to Dr.E.H. Addenbrooke in Mill Street .' He was chief surgeon for many years and was closely involved with the construction of Mill Street Infirmary which was completed in 1870 at a cost of 10,000. There is, of course, a Samuel Stretton ward at Mill Street to this day. The bust was carved in 1873, (date on back) when he was 42 years old.

Samuel Stretton and his eldest son, John Lionel Stretton, were founder members of the Kidderminster and District Medical Society. Samuel served as the inaugural president from 1893 to 1894. (He was succeeded by Dr. David Corbett) John Lionel Stretton was a fellow student of W.G. Grace at Bart's and joined his father's practice in 1882 at the age of 22. He discovered a method of skin sterilisation using Iodine which was published in the BMJ. He remained an honorary surgeon until 1938 and Honorary Consulting Surgeon until his death in 1943. He also served as a Justice of the Peace for many years.

John Weston Stretton, son of John Lionel Stretton, was born in 1888, educated at Malvern, Cambridge and Bart's and duly joined his father as Honorary Surgeon to Kidderminster and District. He was also Honorary Surgeon to the Guest Hospital , Dudley . He died during a nurses' prize giving ceremony in 1953 ending a medical dynasty spanning nearly a century.

Samuel Stretton (1831 - 1920)

John Lionel Stretton (1860 - 1943)

John Weston Stretton (1888 - 1953)


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1952 1992

Four years into the NHS and many rough edges remained. There were two practices, that of Dr. Bob Miles and Jock and Ruth Lillie in Bewdley and Dr. George Lawrence and his assistant Malcolm Young, in Wribbenhall. Some rivalry was apparent! I joined the former as an assistant.

The surgery in Load Street was typical of its day, consulting rooms and a waiting room in a private house. No appointments. We considered ourselves rather advanced in having a part time receptionist. The practice area consisted of a Bewdley much smaller than today and a rural area extending out along a radius of about 10 miles to Clows Top, Cleobury Mortimer, Stottesden and Alveley, where we had a branch surgery.

A tragedy occurred in the 1950's when Dr. Jock Lillie one of the partners, died from a coronary aged 42. In the early 1960's Dr. Lawrence died and the two practices united and the idea of a purpose built premises was raised. The land was available, plans were drawn up and the Medical Centre appeared - a first for the area! Just in time for the GP charter of 1966.

During this time the population was increasing and we were able to reduce the practice area, particularly in Kiddenninster and Stourport. Between 1969 and 1980 Dr. Miles had died and Dr. Young had to retire due to ill health and Dr. Ruth Lillie had retired. A new generation of doctors joined the practice, bringing in new ideas, but accepting many of the old traditions.

As is always the way, our smart new surgery rapidly became too small and had to be enlarged to double its size. The practice now consists of first dass premises, six full time partners and a part time partner, a trainee and an odd job man to help out with surgeries. A multitude of first class nurses, an essential practice manager, a large number of very caring receptionists, secretarial and clerical workers, all ably assisted by the attaChed district nurses and health visitors And finally, the COMPUTER, without which would all the rest be possible? Much has changed and much will change, but I am convinced that good medical practice and care continues in Bewdley.

David Sargent

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John Malcolm Elliott
Retiring Member

Born in Worcester in 1931 , Malcolm Elliott trained at Birmingham Medical School , graduating in 1954. Conscripted for National Service, he joined the Parachute Brigade, taking part in anti-terrorist operations in Cyprus and in the Suez invasion, where foolhardy behaviour earned him a military cross.

He joined Rupert Hill in Genera! Practice at Farfield House in 1958 and almost immediately became secretary of the Kidderminster Medical Society, until changing to be the founder secretary of the Kidderminster & District General Practitioner Association. He held clinical Assistant posts in Geriatrics and Casualty at Kidderminster General Hospital . In 1970, finding general practice too emotionally demanding, he returned to Birmingham to train as a radiologist, and, 5 years later, attracted by the widely recognised high standards of medical practice, deliberately chose to return to Kidderminster in a consultant post shared with Bromsgrove District. He introduced several new diagnostic techniques, particularly angiography, ultrasound and interventional procedures, later co-ordinating the introduction of CT scanning between Kidderminster , Bromsgrove and Stourbridge. He continued to play an active part in medical administration, serving on the District Management Team, and chairing the district Medical and Ethical Committees. At regional level he chaired the Regional Radiological Advisory Committee and the West Midlands Association of Radiologists and served on the Regional Merit Awards, Scientific and Diagnostic Services Committees. He was a guest lecturer on the management courses for consultants and senior registrars at Aston University , and gave tutorials on chest radiology to the students at the Wolverhampton School of Physiotherapy.

He was also for some years radiologist to Hollymore Hospital , and visited Tenbury and Highfield Hospitals weekly. As a strong advocate of close GP / Hospital cooperation, he was instrumental in obtaining open access for GP patients at the latter. He continued working at Bromsgrove and Redditch for a time after retiring from Kidderminster in 1991, but has now retired completely to engage in various DIY activities which he enjoys, and spending his time with his wife, Dorothy, cruising in their yacht along the South Coast , walking and playing with their grandchildren.


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