About the Practice

The history of Upton Group Practice

Before 1926 Upton Village had no resident family doctor.   Dr Leslie Bulmer arrived in that year and started a practice at Holmleigh (previously the vicarage), next to the church hall in Church Road.

In about 1936 Dr Flood, an Irishman, bought Upton Lodge as his home and started seeing patients there.  However he only stayed until 1943 before returning to Ireland and then on to America.

Dr William Wallace bought Upton Lodge from Dr Flood in 1943.  When Dr Bulmer retired from Holmleigh in 1959 Dr John Wallace took over the practice in the village, originally renting a room in Greystoke Nursing Home, which he later bought and used as both his home and surgery (This is now a veterinary surgery.)

In 1959, with patient numbers now standing at around 4000, Dr  Gavin Foley joined Dr Willie Wallace at Upton Lodge.   However by then Dr Wallace was a sick man and he finally retired in 1961.  In April 1963 Dr Andrew Hodgson, an Edinburgh graduate, joined the practice.  In the meantime the Upton village surgery was closed as Dr John Wallace sold Greystoke to Colin Steel, a local veterinary surgeon.  This left just Dr Foley and Dr Hodgson practising from Upton Lodge.

In 1966, owing to increasing patient numbers, it was decided to double the medical staff by making partners of the two doctors’ wives, Dr Patricia Lees and Dr Judith Hodgson.

By 1973 the practice numbers had risen to approximately 6000.  Several plans were considered regarding new premises in Upton village and behind Upton Lodge.  Then “The Willows” – next door at 32 Ford Road came onto the market.  This was bought and altered to contain 4 consulting rooms, a large office, a secretary’s office and a treatment room.  The name “Upton Group Practice” was used for the first time.

In 1974 Dr Ken Hoyle was appointed as a fifth partner.  Mrs Castle was then Minister for Health and she passed regulations limiting the number of doctors in a practice for a given number of patients.  Upton Group Practice was told it could only have 4 doctors.  Dr Hoyle had only just been appointed so the two lady doctors – Dr Patricia Lees and Dr Judith Hodgson – agreed to leave the practice.

However Dr Hoyle did not stay long as he emigrated to Australia in 1976.  In that year Upton Group Practice became a teaching practice and the first trainee started on 1 March 1976.   Dr Richard Pickin joined the practice on 1 September in that same year.

As the practice numbers continued to rise an extension to the practice was built in 1980 to provide extra offices and Dr Christine Hall was appointed on 1 February 1981. She was one of the first doctors to qualify from the new medical school in Nottingham.   Five years later in June 1986 Dr Hall left Upton Group Practice to work for the Australian Government in the Aboriginal Health Service at Tennant Creek.

On 1 September Dr Pete Larkin, a graduate of Liverpool University, joined the practice.   In April 1989, due to further rises in patient numbers and also as the practice needed a female doctor, Dr Eunice Richmond, a graduate of Manchester University, joined Upton Group Practice.

Dr Foley retired from the practice in October 1989, after 30 years service and his place was taken by Dr Anthony Smith who graduated from Leeds University.    The next year a further extension was added to the practice premises to provide 5 consulting rooms.

In 1994 Dr Hodgson retired from the practice after 31 years service and Dr Partridge joined the practice in April, having previously been a GP Registrar with the practice for 6 months in 1990.  In the same year a further building project took place to remove the staircase from the middle of the building in order to provide a larger waiting area.    A further clinic room and consultation room were provided as well as extra parking spaces for patients.   The ground floor level of the building now consisted  of 6 consulting rooms, 3 clinic rooms and a spacious reception/waiting area with an open reception desk. Upstairs was office accommodation and staff areas. The practice list size was now around 9000 and has stayed fairly constant since that time.

Late in 2003 further building work commenced on a further extension to provide one extra consulting room, funded by an initiative from the University of Liverpool to allow the practice to take on an additional registrar.  The new room was completed in April 2004.

In July 2006 Dr Pickin retired from the practice and Dr Smith left at the end of August to move to another practice in Liverpool.  Dr Helen Kini and Dr Gina Annett joined the practice both having previously completed their Registrar year at Upton.

In March 2013 Dr Larkin retired from the practice and Dr David Thomas, who had worked with the practice initially as a locum and then from December 2011 as a Salaried GP, joined the practice as a Partner.  There were now four Partners – Dr Tom Partridge, Dr Gina Annett, Dr Helen Kini and Dr David Thomas.

In April 2013 building work began on the practice to extend at the back of the building to provide new Nurse Treatment rooms.  Once this work was complete in mid July Rowlands pharmacy took over the old Treatment rooms at the front of the building to refurbish as an onsite pharmacy.  Rowlands Pharmacy opened on Monday 28 October 2013.

Practice Pictures

Waitingroom2 Pharminside Waitingroom1600x450 Outsideofpharm Pharmlinkdoor Ptatdesk