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Richford Gate History

files_5With the assistance of the late Dr Bill Styles and the founder of the practice, Dr Stuart Carne – our Executive Partner, Renos Pittarides has put together the history of the practice:

1957 to 1969

The most significant date in the recent history of the practice must be 1957, when Dr Stuart Carne succeeded the single handed practice that was run at 127 Goldhawk Road by Dr Ridley Dale. Dr Carne brought a number of innovations to the practice including the introduction of ante-natal and well baby clinic. At the same time the practice developed close liaisons with many of the Local Health Authority services and was one of the first to have a health visitor employed by the LHA based in the practice. The practice also began to work more closely with the local district nursing services.

After a few years Dr Carne was joined in the practice by Dr Joe Kearns and his wife Bozena. They were already established in practice further along the Goldhawk Road where Joe Kearns had joined his father. Following the death of Dr Kearns senior, the council took over their premises for redevelopment and the two practices, Carne and Kearns, merged and were based at 127 Goldhawk Road.

In the mid-1960s Dr Joe Kearns took on the additional appointment of part-time medical officer to Lyons at Brook Green and a few years later he was persuaded by the company to go full time. He was succeeded in the practice by Dr Roy Salole (who formerly had been Dr Carne's trainee). A few years later Dr Bozena Kearns established her own practice in Ealing and Dr Judith Dimock joined the practice in Shepherds Bush.

In January 1960 the partners had introduced an appointment system, which at the time was a relatively new way of working. The premises in Goldhawk Road were barely adequate for one doctor, let alone a partnership of three GPs, and the partners looked around for larger accommodation. They were attracted to a site on the corner of Goldhawk Road and Hammersmith Grove which the Council was re-developing. Following lengthy - but at all times amicable - discussions, the Council offered to build a Health Centre in front of the new block of flats they were building on that site. Health Centres had been formally proposed in the National Health Service Act, 1946 but up to that time only one had been built in London, and that was on a large and somewhat grandiose scale in Woodberry Down in North London.

The Grove Health Centre was opened by the Minister of Health, Mr Kenney Robinson, in 1967 and from the start it proved to be a success. At the time the building was regarded as a model of its kind, though it, too, became too cramped as the service provided by GPs expended over the next 30 years.

Also based in the new health centre was Dr Giersz Sosna, who had moved his single handed practice from Amor Road to the Health Centre. After a few months the two practices merged to form a four man practice with one trainee.

It was at this time that Dr Bill Styles joined the practice as the trainee and he succeeded Dr Dimock as a partner in 1969. In 1970 Dr Carne was appointed Senior Tutor in General practice at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in Hammersmith Hospital and Bill Styles succeeding Stuart Carne as the practice trainer.

The 70’s

Dr Salole left the practice in 1973 when he emigrated to CanadaI. He was succeeded by Dr Ian Jamieson who until then had been working with the pharmaceutical company, Messrs Nicholas.

Dr Ivan Koppel was taken on as an additional partner in 1978. He had been working in the practice as a trainee and was one of the first graduates of the Hammersmith Hospital Vocational Training Scheme which had been established a few years earlier. He had first come to the practice as a medical student from St Mary's Hospital in 1974.

In the early 1970s the practice had part-time female partners, most notably Dr Noeleen Wallace and Dr Ilona Tobey. Both had previously been trainees in the practice. Dr Wallace retired, and Dr Tobey left to practice with her husband on the Isle of Wight.

The 80’s

Dr Sosna retired in 1983 and was succeeded by Dr Neil Frazer. Dr Frazer had also graduated from the Hammersmith Hospital Vocational Training Scheme and had been a trainee at the Grove. Between working as a trainee and returning as a partner he had been in practice with Dr A Lewis in north Paddington.

In the mid 1980s Dr Barbara Rushton worked as a part-time partner leaving to live and work in Liphook in Hampshire towards the end of the 1980s. In 1986 Dr Nell Elphinstone joined the partnership and in 1989 she was joined by Dr Fleur Navey as a full-time appointment. Dr Navey was another graduate from the Hammersmith Vocational Training Scheme and former Grove trainee to join the practice

The 90’s

The partnership decided that another full-time partner was needed and in 1990 Dr Sarah Jarvis joined, having been a trainee in North Surrey. A few months prior to her appointment the practice appointed its first practice manager with responsibility for overseeing the organisation and administration of the non-clinical aspects of the practice's work. Mr Renos Pittarides took up his appointment in June 1990. In 1997 he joined the partnership as one of the first non-medical partners in the country.

Dr Stuart Carne retired from the practice in January 1992, and later that year Dr Fleur Navey also left the practice. She was succeeded by Dr Yvette Smith who was a former Charing Cross Hospital medical student and who had trained on the Edgware Vocational Training Scheme. Dr Beverley McDonald joined the practice in November 1997.

The 2000’s

In March 2002 Dr Tony Willis, who had completed a Senior Registrar post at the practice, joined the partnership. He replaced Dr Ian Jamieson who retired in 1999. Dr Willis was soon joined by Dr Claire Sleight who was recruited to replace Dr Smith following her departure in August 2002. The practice was to go through further partnership changes following the departure of Dr Neil Frazer who left at the end of 2002 to take a post with Chelsea Football Club. Dr Holly Simms and Dr Mohamed Maloufi, former GP Registrar, joined the partnership in August 2003 and January 2005 respectively.

The members of the practice have always been involved in many activities outside the practice itself. Drs Carne, Salole, Koppel and Frazer had been police surgeons for many years. Stuart Carne, Bill Styles and Neil Frazer had been the medical officers to Queens Park Rangers Football Club. Dr Jarvis was a member of the Medical practices Committee and has become a well known medical journalist with posts at ITN News and Good Housekeeping.

The partners have been very active in the work of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Dr Carne was Treasurer for a period of thirteen years and Dr Styles was Honorary Secretary from 1983 to 1989. Dr Carne was also President of the College from 1988 to 1991 and Dr Styles was the Chairman of the Council of the College before he passed away in March 1996. In addition they have contributed to the work of the local faculty, the North and West London Faculty. Dr Carne was Provost of the North and West London faculty and Drs Styles, Koppel and Jarvis have been Faculty Secretary.

Vocational training has always been an important responsibility for the practice in the past. Dr Styles, Koppel, Frazer, Navey ,Willis, Simms, Maloufi, Ashraff and Kirsop were all Registrars in the practice before becoming established there as principals. Both Dr Carne and Dr Koppel were course organisers to the Hammersmith Hospital Vocational Training Scheme, and Dr Styles was Regional Adviser in General practice from 1983. He was also a member of the council of the Medical Protection Society from 1990. Drs Jarvis and McDonald are currently GP Trainers.

The practice has always had close links with the local community nursing services. Miss Cheryl Ridley was attached as health visitor in the early 1960s and worked with the practice for over ten years. Ms Nan Downie was district nurse at that time. Today, the practice is delighted to be sharing its premises with various professionals employed by Central London Community Health NHS Trust..

The practice appointed its first practice nurse in 1985. She was Ann Marsland-Roberts. This was a part-time appointment. Over the years the practice has increased the nursing establishment to two full time posts. The present practice nurse team is Nony Ndulue and Veronica Robertson-Benjamin.

General practice has gone through many changes since the formation of the practice in 1959. Today’s team is very much influenced by the early “pioneers”. The practice is proud to have adopted the skills from a primary health care team. Today’s nursing staff are supported by Health Care Assistants who perform a range of clinical and non-clinical tasks. The Executive Partner is supported by a comprehensive team headed by Mrs Karen Langley who became Deputy practice manager in 2001.

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