28 March 2021
At the end of March I will retire as a partner at the Crown Medical Practice.
It has been nearly 25 years since I first turned up at the reception of the Crown and asked Dr Pascoe and Dr Standen whether they could do with an extra hand. Fortunately, they said yes and the last 25 years seem to have flown by. As one of my colleagues once said: The days are long, but the years are short. Or as some patients told me that they watched me grow older with less and greyer hair. I, in return have seen my patients grow older and even met some as babies and observed them to become mature and responsible adults. It always causes some embarrassed looks if I remind them.
It was a great privilege that so many of you allowed me to accompany you on parts of your life’s journeys, in sad and happy times. Sometimes this was a heavy responsibility, but your trust and kindness made it all worthwhile. During my work I met some remarkable patients whose courage and determination had been an inspiration to me, often made me feel humble and reminded me about the important things in life.
I was lucky to have been part of a wonderful team. I could always rely on the support of my GP colleagues, Dr Standen and Dr Joshi, the managers, secretaries, receptionists and our marvellous nurses. Thank you for looking after me, the endless cups of tea and coffee and your smiles. We all enjoy working in a small practice which allowed us to develop a more personal and caring relationship with our patients. No surprise then that the team at the Crown has become an extended family to me.
As the scope of our work widened there had to be some necessary changes over the years. We now have a much larger team with more nurses and advanced nurse practitioners, pharmacist and more managers and enjoy the greater skill mix. The practices in Tamworth are working much closer together and share a greater focus on the wider health issues of the people in Tamworth. And of course, there had been the Covid pandemic over the last year which changed so much how we had to work to keep everyone safe. We are now looking forward to the merger of the Crown Medical Practice with the Trinity practice which will further expand the range of skills within the team, provide a wider range of services and secure the sustainability of the two practices. I am confident that my colleagues will be well placed to continue to provide the quality of care you had been used to.
I would like to thank you all for making me feel welcome, for the trust you gave me and for sharing your life stories, particular in difficult times. I am grateful for all your support and friendship, and your kindness and generosity.
Even when I leave the Crown as a partner this March I will return in May as GP retainer working 4 sessions per week. I don’t think I am ready yet to be without you and hang up my stethoscope.
Dr Stephan Benkert