A family doctor who has served Chorley for 31 years is retiring from Library House Surgery this month.
Dr Clive Barker, who is 58, began working at Collison Avenue Health Centre in 1986 and was part of the team of seven doctors when Library House Surgery was built in 1993.
“It has been a huge privilege to try to help look after people in our local community, especially over a generation in many families,” said Dr Barker. “In fact, many of the mums and dads who come to the surgery with their children now weren’t even born themselves when I started as a GP here.”
Originally from Stockport, Dr Barker studied at Manchester University before becoming a GP trainee in Preston.
“I will miss the fascinating world of general medical practice, but I have found it increasingly challenging to stay as fresh as I should be to provide high quality care,” said Dr Barker, who lives in Euxton. “There is a lot of background work in addition to consulting in surgeries, and even with an excellent team, many working days extend to 13 or 14 hours.
“In March this year I had a chest infection then developed a rapid irregular heart rate, and though I tried to turn up for work, my colleagues kindly insisted they took me to Chorley hospital, where I was very well treated, and electrically shocked back into a normal heart rhythm.”
His health concerns have led Dr Barker to decide to ease off work. He is looking forward to spending more time with his family, his wife Carole, and their three sons Tom, Adam, and Max. Dr Barker will take on occasional locum GP sessions and will also help to teach medical students and young doctors in Preston.