DR TIM Crouch has retired from Frithwood Surgery after nearly 34 years of service to the community.
His retirement last week marks the start of a new chapter for Dr Tim focusing on his wife Sue and their family.
It was his father and mother who started the original practice in Eastcombe in 1952 and as recognition of their work the road from The Lamb to the Toadsmoor junction was re-named Dr Crouch’s Road.
Dr Tim has built on his parents’ legacy with the help of the surgery team.
But he still remembers his first day as a GP in October, 1980 at the practice run by his father and mother Hubert and Bessie in Eastcombe.
“It was a clear and sunny autumnal day and the start of my career,” he recalled.
“The surgery was a minimal establishment with one small waiting room and one small consulting room.
“So we set about an extension to this, took on more staff, expanded the dispensing and things went well until we ran out of space.”
The practice was extended still further and eventually moved to its current location in Bussage in 1995, opening as Frithwood Surgery.
“This allowed us to really get going, offering better facilities and services to patients,” said Dr Tim.
“As time marched on we took on more nurses, medical students and GP registrars.
“None of this would have happened without the team pulling together and it has been my great fortune to have worked with some truly great colleagues at all levels in the organisation, and that is why we are where we are today.”
With space still at a premium, the surgery underwent an extension last year.
“It has been a lot of fun. The dark days and bumpy rides have been few and far between,” said Dr Tim.
“I could tell you enough anecdotes to fill a whole series of Doc Martin.
“I have retired certain in the knowledge that the surgery will go from strength to strength.”
As evidence of Dr Tim’s popularity and respect, the surgery was packed for his farewell address which was greeted with laughter, applause and a lot of emotion.
An Ode To Dr Tim has even been written – see below.
An Ode to Dr Tim Crouch
33 years and 7 months in
It’s time to ring the bell
A Quack we’ve known as Dr Tim
Is retiring we hear tell
Just like his dad Tim’s made his mark
With a road from there to here
From Eastcombe rooms which were quite dark
To Frithwood bright and clear
It’s taken time to get this far
Tim’s efforts are truly seen
The outcome is like a shining star
Created by his team
And now a rest, we think he’ll cope
A recharge of his batteries
A nail to hang his stethoscope
And a chance for new activities
A long trip West is on the cards
Perhaps to a desolate canyon
A few weeks rest won’t be hard
Thoughts of work you can now abandon
So well done Tim, you deserve a rest
And thanks for all you’ve done
You’ve left the practice at its best
And passed the baton on.
Always a Smile