‘It has been a wonderful privilege’ - GP celebrates 30 years serving community

Dr Chris Castle, of Sole Bay Health Centre, with his cupcakes to mark 30 years as a GP Picture: CATH

Dr Chris Castle, of Sole Bay Health Centre, with his cupcakes to mark 30 years as a GP Picture: CATHY RYAN - Credit: Archant

A ‘fantastic’ Suffolk GP who is continuing to fight the coronavirus pandemic is celebrating 30 years serving the Southwold and Reydon communities.

Dr Chris Castle, 57, moved to Southwold in 1990 to begin work alone at an “extremely small” doctors’ surgery in the seaside town’s High Street.

He has stayed in the area ever since and now works at Sole Bay Health Centre in neighbouring Reydon as senior practitioner after his surgery merged with another in the town in 2000.

Dr Castle, who gained his qualifications at James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, near Great Yarmouth, initially started his career in the “pre-computerisation” era - but has seen technology evolve over the 30 years he has spent in the profession.

Having worked in the same area for so long, Dr Castle, who describes himself as an “old-fashioned GP”, has treated patients spanning a wide range of ages and from multiple generations of the same family.

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He said: “I have fully enjoyed being in Southwold. It is a really nice place and a great place to work.

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“I have looked after many generations of families in my time. You really get a connection with them.”

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The medical professional described the ongoing Covid-19 crisis as his “greatest challenge” as a GP, given the immediate shift in delivering services remotely and minimising physical contact with patients.

“Perhaps the greatest challenge so far has been this Covid-19 pandemic - the way that GP surgeries work has had to change to largely telephone and video consultations to increase everyone’s safety,” he said.

To mark 30 years in the job, Dr Castle’s colleagues at the health centre presented him with a box of cupcakes commemorating his commitment to serving the community.

Dr Castle said: “It has been a wonderful privilege to be a GP in the Southwold and Reydon area for the past 30 years, and I still enjoy my work very much and so have no plans to stop.

“Everything changes relentlessly in the NHS, and we are now very involved in the teaching of medical students and training tomorrow’s GPs.”

Cathy Ryan, community matron at Sole Bay Health Centre, added: “Chris is a very well-loved GP. His patience and dedication with his patients is extraordinary.

“It has been fantastic to work with him. He certainly is an unsung hero.”

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