Tributes paid to Ipswich GP
TRIBUTES have been paid to an Ipswich GP who has died suddenly.Dr Alan Hicks, 43, was a GP at the Norwich Road practice of Hicks, Smith, McKay, Mowles and Swinglehurst.
TRIBUTES have been paid to an Ipswich GP who has died suddenly.
Dr Alan Hicks, 43, was a GP at the Norwich Road practice of Hicks, Smith, McKay, Mowles and Swinglehurst.
Dr Andrew Penkethman, a close personal friend who was with Dr Hicks when he died, said: "We are all still finding it difficult to come to terms with such a huge loss.
"Alan was a highly-respected and able GP and he will be greatly missed. His death leaves a tremendous gap in the lives of everyone who knew him."
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Dr Hicks died suddenly on Saturday but only the previous evening had been a guest at the St Margaret's Primary School ball.
He leaves a widow, Penny, and three daughters, Charlotte, 16, Victoria, 15, and Phillipa, 11, .
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Dr Don McElhinney, chairman of the Ipswich Primary Care Trust, to which the practice is affiliated, said: "Alan was well loved by his patients and will be sorely missed. He was well known throughout the medical community as a hard-working, caring doctor. Our thoughts go out to his wife and children at this difficult time."
A spokesman for the trust said Dr Hicks' partners at the practice were still coming to terms with the shock of his death and were making arrangements to send a letter out to patients assuring them that their needs would be taken care of and asking for understanding during the next few weeks.
Dr Andrew Wilkinson, a former colleague, worked with Dr Hicks for 15 years before retiring three years ago,
He said: "He was a fine doctor of whom I was particularly fond. He was interested in a lot of things. He took time out from work to do an MSc because of his interest in occupational medicine and he was loved by both patients and colleagues."
Dr Wilkinson said Dr Hicks was a good skier, an enthusiastic sailor and an active member of the British Sub Aqua Club.
He added: "It's a very sad loss and my thoughts are with his family."
Dr Hicks was also medical advisor to the Ipswich Argonauts and a keen amateur diver – he was a past vice-chairman of the club.
Fellow amateur diver Rod Burrell said: "He was a very valuable member of the club – he would carry out medicals on divers and gave lectures about the medical side of diving. I dived with him for ten or 15 years. It's a great shock to everyone who knew him."