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Practice History

This is a brief history of the development of the Lavender Hill Group Practice.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the practice belonged to Dr. Hayman, a real gentleman, according to some of his old patients who still remember him over fifty years later. He was joined in the 1950s by Dr. Johnny Johnson, who drove a large Daimler around the district and delivered babies at home. When Dr. Hayman retired in the 1960s, Dr. George Litewski joined Johnny and they practised together for twenty-five years.

In 1976, their old shop-front surgery was demolished by the council,d and a new two-doctor surgery was built at 100 Lavender Hill. They had open surgeries with no appointment system and no other staff except one devoted receptionist, Mrs. Bridie Connolly. They knew their patients well, and provided old-fashioned personal care. In 1983 Dr. Catherine Kroll joined the practice, and in 1984, Dr. Simon Freeman, when Dr. Johnson retired. Then, a practice nurse and manager were appointed, and the practice was allowed to take on a fourth doctor, Dr. Susan Robinson. Dr. Paul Rogers replaced George Litewski on his retirement in 1991.

The purpose-built two-doctor surgery was now far too small, and it took ten years to achieve the move into the converted church hall at 19 Pountney Road in June 1996. Meanwhile, we had acquired a second nurse, and another partner, Dr. Jeremy Gray. Doctor Paul Rogers left the practice in September 1998. We appointed Dr. Helen Lucas who joined us in February 1999, and Dr. Henrietta Brook, who became a partner in July 2000. At this time we took on the list of patients from Dr John Dunwoody who had recently retired.

In April 2002 we became a PMS practice and were joined by a new partner, Dr. Ed Barnes. In 2003 Dr Hung Tran and Dr Rachel Westwick started work as regular part time GPs with the practice. In September 2004 we took on a list of patients from retiring Dr Sita Fernando, and appointed Dr Laura Freeman as a new partner in 2005. Drs Tran and Westwick moved on and in 2009 Dr Toni Tonkin and Dr Tahira Zuberi joined us. In 2012 Dr Ed Barnes retired after 9 years at Lavender Hill. Dr Tonkin left for a partnership elsewhere and Dr Laura Freeman moved out of London and so in 2013 we were joined by Dr Melissa Sarmiento and Dr Arnab Ghosh. In 2014 Dr Zuberi became a partner. In January 2015 Dr Simon Freeman retired after 30 years service and Dr Owen Carter joined us. Dr Alex Gill also joined the regular team in 2015. In 2016 Dr Ghosh moved on. In 2017 Dr Gray and Dr Robinson retired and Dr Carter became a partner. Dr Beth James joined us as did Dr Alexandra Dickinson. In 2018 Dr Gill left us and Dr Rob Seal and Dr Laura Mindel joined the practice.

The practice was computerised in 1992, using the EMIS medical system, which became web based in 2011. The practice and partners have been on the Professional Executive Committee of the Primary Care Trust, involved in Practice Based Commissioning and the Battersea Healthcare Federation provider organisation.

We have been teaching medical students for some years and from time to time they may be present in consultations. Dr. Freeman and Dr Kroll have been GP Trainers and the practice trains GP Registrars. Registrars are experienced doctors training in general practice, before becoming GP Principals. In 2004 we had 2 registrars together for the first time. In 2015 Dr Lucas started as a trainer and Dr Zuberi in 2016.

In the 1990s, Dr. Gray formed the Battersea Research Group, which looked into cardiovascular risks in our local population. He published papers in the British Medical Journal.

Since we have moved to our new premises in 1996 we have already done some rebuilding. We opened extra consulting rooms in December 2003. We now have 17 clinical rooms. We have been able to expand services to include minor surgery, physiotherapy, psychotherapy and drug counselling. More recently we have started a patient participation group and conduct patient surveys so that our patients views can inform our decisions.

We are now turning our attention to working the GP Commissioning Consortium in Wandsworth, and the new GP provider federation, Battersea Healthcare.

In 2015 our practice manager Pat Lynch retired and Nargis Khan joined us, just in time to help us deal with our first CQC inspection. We were awarded a good rating in all areas.

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