Popular Kessingland and Wrentham doctor retires after 32 years of being GP

A popular north Suffolk doctor has retired after 32 years as a GP.

Dr Nigel Drane was given a very fond farewell on Friday by staff and patients at Longshore Surgeries, which has 7,500 people on the books at its Kessingland, Wrentham and Wangford practices, between Lowesfoft and Southwold.

Armed with his trusty stethoscope and blood pressure monitor, Dr Drane has seen many sights over the years although a few – including an unfortunate man with African ticks – would always stick in his mind.

Dr Drane, who lives in Wrentham, said another memorable incident took place during a home visit when he sat on a woman's bed – and much to his surprise a pig emerged from under the bedclothes.

When Dr Drane joined Longshore Surgeries in 1980, they were based in three GPs' homes but his appointment was followed by the creation of the Kessingland surgery and the setting up of the Wrentham and Wangford satellite practices.


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Dr Drane, who is originally from Norwich, said that over the last three decades, one of the main changes he had witnessed was people were now much more willing to visit GPs at an early stage if they thought they might have cancer or suffer from depression. Patients were also more aware of palliative care.

'People seem more comfortable talking about things now,' Dr Drane added.

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However, he admitted he harboured concerns over the new Health Reform Bill as it would lead to massive changes within the health service at a time when NHS budget was under pressure.

Dr Drane said he in his retirement hoped to take up drawing and painting and possibly archaeology, and he also planned to enjoy more travelling and gardening.

He added: 'I have been very lucky to have worked here,' he said. 'It has been a real pleasure to have been here for 32 years.'

Dr Drane will be replaced from Monday by Peter Ho, who joins doctors Aysha Cockshott, David Johnston, Robert Coleman and Jane Scott, three nurses and 20 other staff at the Longshore Surgeries.

Helen Raven, dispensary manager at the Wrentham surgery, said staff were sad to see Dr Drane go.

She said: 'He has been a wonderful boss. The practice and its patients are going to miss him very much.'

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