1.       Editorial - this is your newsletter
2.       Post Graduate Centre Appeal
3.       Winter Meeting - Peter Chaudoir
4.       A primary Care Centre Overview - Barrie Davies
5.       Memories of Church Street - Peter Dutton
6.       The New GPA - Ready for the 21st Century
7.       Obituary - Martha Harvey Aylward
8        Stephen Perry
9.       Anthony Carter

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EDITORIAL - THIS IS YOUR  NEWSLETTER

Looking back over the last half dozen editions of the newsletter I get the impression that there is a very obvious leaning towards the General Practice side of the medical scene in the Wyre Forest. Understandable, you may say, because both the editors are GPs and their editorial licence will naturally lean that way. The problem is that as editors we rely on you the members to supply us with material to publish and if your literary imaginations and fountain pens have given up the ghost then the fill in material which Graeme and I write will naturally have a General Practice bias.

Of course we need to read the obituaries of dear departed colleagues and friends; and naturally, we are more than interested in the curriculum vitae of brand new fledgelings in the Wyre Forest nest; and to be fair to all, developments in the way that administrators feel that we should offer,our medical expertise to the public at large is of interest or ire to us all. .' But as your current president, and taking full advantage of the fact that I do the hard copy editing and printing of this newsletter, please let me use my literary licence to offer you a few suggestions on how to expand its content and
perhaps augment the anticipation of its quarterly arrival. Medicine in its all pervasive remit has a host of tales to tell. Surely all of you have done, are doing or intend to do something which is of interest to us all. Even reading through the curriculum vitae in this edition one can see a hidden agenda of interest and intrigue which others will never experience but yearn to hear about. There must be anecdotes on your day to day work in the surgery, in
out patients, in theatre or even 'is there a doctor on board' that you would want to share with your colleagues. 

And what about the malapropisms which our unsuspecting patients have; uttered and left us shaking with laughter until we are able to compose ourselves enough to greet the next! patient. This, surely, is what the Medical Society and its newsletter is all about. Bringing together like minded individuals and to enable them to share their collective encyclopaedia of experiences. And so ladies and gentlemen please - pens to paper and give Graeme and I the material we need to not only maintain but to improve the character and content of your newsletter.

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Post Graduate Centre Appeal

At a Kidderminster Medical Society meeting on the 16th January 1996 the Chairman of the appeals committee, Mr Walford Gillison, informed
us of significant developments. In the course of his researches for funds for the appeal he had learnt that there was a possibility of some funding from the Trust's capital budget. Furthermore, in view of the fact that the pharmacy would be moving next year there was the possibility that the pharmacy site might be available for use by the centre.

He already had the promise of some 50,000 in both cash and covenants from the membership but obviously, a great deal more money was required. After a wide ranging discussion the meeting came to the conclusion that it would certainly be worth discussing financial support from
 the Trust on the clear understanding that management of the centre would remain firmly in the hands of the medical profession and that if any agreements were made they would be legally binding in the long term.

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MEDICAL SOCIETY WINTER MEETING


The traditionally unoccupied front rows at the Postgraduat Centre were all but full when Barrie Davies made his first policy statement as President of theMedical Society - to the effect that the tatty wine glasses needed urgent replacement and this would be implemented as a matter of some urgency. He then went on to introduce the evening's speaker, John Robinson, Wyre Forest Nature Reserve manager. We were entertained by eloquent dialogue and prize- winning slides telling some of the natural history of the forest.He went on to talk about management plans including the felling of 20 acres of oak every year for the next 90 years to form clearings of different ages separated by bands of mature forest. This will create a variety of habitats which will support more numerous and diverse forms of wild life.

One very interesting part of the talk described the method used to produce some of the spectacular slides - the twanging of an elastic band to produce showers of pollen and droplets of water to rupture a puffball! The lecture finished with numerous questions which were answered, beer glass in hand, by John Robinson. The evening was followed with a buffet supper and considerable discussion.

Peter Chaudoir

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A Primary Care Centre Overview


As a result of my administrative role I probably spend more time at the Primary Care Centre than many others and so am probably better placed than most to gain impressions, hear viewpoints and soak up the grumbles and complaints. I could talk about the 11,500 out of hours contacts in six months or perhaps the 11 complaints received, all of which have been dealt with by the in-house complaints procedure and none of which have involved a contravention of Terms of Service. What about the excellent nurse triage which we are witnessing or the superb surroundings which ooze with high quality medical care. Perhaps the arguments about home visiting should take priority or even the question of introducing patient's (and their
relatives) transport into the medical school curriculum.


But these are not the PCC angles which have impressed me most. The most obvious and welcome change which I have heard and seen is that we are dealing with a very happy band of General Practitioners. Doctors who, dare I say it, almost look forward to their shift on duty; doctors who are categoric in their criticism of the old system and praise for the new. The team spirit which has developed between doctors from differen1 practices working together and the triage nurses is a pleasure to behold. Doctors and nurses who are enjoying their work do their job well.


Putting it in very simple terms, the advent of the Primary Care Centre has resulted in a much higher standard of medicine being offered to patients by doctors who are almost enjoying being on call! Coming from so many mouths there can be no doubt - 'there's no going back'.

Barrie Davies

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Memories of Church Street


When I started in 1960 Church Street was a street of professionals. There were 5 medical practices, 2 dental practices and, I think, 8 solicitors. Church Street was unspoilt, running straight up to St Mary's Church without its bisection by the new ring road. As I remember it we did not have much in the way of staff; just 2 or 3 part time receptionists and we were unusual in having a practice nurse. There were no rotas; after evening surgery you rang the telephone exchange and put the call sthrough to anyone who was not going out.

Dr Porter was the 'grand old man' of Church Street. He ran a single handed practice and his wife was an anaesthetist at the hospital. Quite a lot of minor surgery was done on the spot; circumcisions, tapping hydrocoeles, incising abcesses etc. Dr Bob Lurring was in practice with Brian Lamb. Bob was one of the three physicians at Mill Street. In later years he had a coronary thrombosis. In those days, treatment was a wool lined waistcoat to keep your heart warm and an hour on the bed after lunch. Bob and Brian used to lie on a double bed and discuss the events of the day. Later, Elizabeth, one of Bob's daughters joined him in Church Street. She was soon a very popular doctor and helped him through until his retirement age and Brian Lamb opened a branch surgery in Wolverley. 

I remember the tremendous cameraderie. After my first Medical Society meeting I remember Dr Harry Buchannan taking me on one side over a glass of whisk(e)y and saying; 'you know Peter, the most important thing in Kidderminster is that we all get on together'. Basically, the medical ethic was - you get on with it 

Peter Dutton

(Judging by the way 47 GPs got on together to set up the PCC it seems the Kidderminster cameraderie is still alive and kicking hard - ed.)

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THE NEW GPA - READY FOR THE 21st CENTURY


At the December meeting of the General Practitioners Association the membership decided to significantly change the structure of the association.
Since its inception in the early 60s the format of the GPA meetings has consisted of a very large and therefore combersome committee and a small overworked executive group.

The new -format consists of an elected executive of 8 members chaired by the chairman of the GPA which will meet monthly. An annual election of representatives will take place when half the executive membership will retire. Moves are in place so that all practices will have a representative on the executive. It will have formal salaried secretarial support and part of its remit will be regular meetings with the Trust and the Health Authority. It is anticipated that all contacts with outside bodies requesting medical assistance and advice will be channelled through the executive who will deal with the majority of matters without referring to, but reporting back to the wider membership.mQuarterly meetings of the full GPA will continue to take place to deal with major matters. The Primary Care Centre and the Fundholding Group will also have direct links with the GPA Executive. The current membership is;

Lynne Butcher (chairman),   Tim Allen,   Jim Goodman,   Gary Lewis-Roberts,   Bob Marriott,   Graeme Wilcox,   Richard Horton (LMC).   John Wilner

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MARTHA HARVEY AYLWARD (Martin)

OBITUARY


Mick, as she was always known, died on Christmas day 1995. She qualified at Birmingham despite the handicap of weakness due to polio as a child. In 1953 she joined Jim Price and Jack Jordan in practice in Church Street. Whileworking in Kidderminster she brought up 2 sons and looked after an invalid husband as well as doing full time General Practice, including her share of night :duty. Always cheerful and always ready to help those in need she endeared herself to many. She was dogged by ill health; polio as a child, a laminectomy in 1963, removal of part of her bowel for cancer in 1978 and cataracts in the 80s. Always on the go, she was driving her car up to 2 weeks before her death from the cancer. In May 1974, she took over a single handed practice in Broadway. She retired in 1981 and moved to Ottery St Mary to be near her son Jamie. Her elder son William is a consultant at Moorfields.


A A Walker

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STEPHEN PERRY


My wife, Jane, and I are approaching the end of a busy and increasingly enjoyable first year at Kidderminster. We arrived with a one year old called
Alexandra and by the first of January this year were celebrating the birth of Oliver, a true Worcestershire lad. To sketch in our backgrounds - I started my medical career at Caius College at Cambridge having already a degree in natural sciences from that university. I had also a short spell 'on deck' with Blue Star Line trading mostly the South American routes. 

Whilst House Officer at Cambridge I enquired about ophthalmology and then joined the Royal Air Force Medical Branch with whom I served until our move here. I started with a year in Service General Practice before specialist training. This included a senior registrar rotation at Bristol Eye Hospital (where I developed an interest in small incision cataract surgery) and a 6 month fellowship in oculoplasic and orbital surgery with the University of British Columbia at Vancouver General Hospital. During a spell at RAF Hospital Halton I met Jane, a friend of some of the nursing sisters with whom she had trained at Guy's Hospital before her own career in medical selling and product management. We moved together as my postings and training required, returning to Halton for the birth of Alexandra and for me to take' up my first consultant post. Beyond work we enjoyed the sports and social opportunities, particularly equestrian and skiing. Finally, we left Halton for Kidderminster on the break up of RAF secondary care. To date this has been a marvellous move to an excellent local medical community where we are already making good friends and feel we have an interesting future to look forward to.

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ANTHONY CARTER


My story begins in the far North of Newcastle upon Tyne where I grew up in an eminently non-medical family (although my father took medicine in
Edinburgh, for his duodenal ulcer). After surprising everybody with my A-level results I became the only mug in my year to go to medical school. Birmingham was an obvious choice as it was a long way away, the campus was quite posh and they seemed keen on rugby (oh yes, and they offered me a place).


After a thoroughly enjoyable 5 years I joined the vast majority of the class of 88 in house jobs and GP training in and around Brum. After training, like many young docs, I felt the time was not quite right to go into a partnership and after some locums and the MRCGP I succumbed to the lure of the Antipodes. I then spent a year as a GP in a 24-hour medical centre in Cairns, North Queensland. A 40 hour week was interspersed with scuba diving, rain forest walking, playing rugby, lazing on the beach and generally having an awful time. After a period of travelling I ended up in Kidderminster for the long hot Summer of '95 - an ideal place around which many friends have settled.


My experiences in Australia have made me very enthusiastic about the Primary Care Centre and the ability of patients to take more responsibility for
their out of hours care (as well as teaching me how to deal with snake bites, tick typhus, marine stingers and Aboriginal alcoholism!). I hope I have settled well at Aylmer Lodge and have enjoyed meeting colleagues at the PCC.  I have taken on minor surgery at the practice and  'made a pledge' to become the next trainer (if we ever get a trainee!).  My girlfriend, Glenys Wilson, has settled into the area well despite being a London graduate and is currently a locum looking for a partnership!

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