History of Puddletown Surgery

History Of Medical Practice In Puddletown And District

Before the last quarter of the 19th Century a travelling Packman provided remedies for the people of the area.

Dr Slade was the first medical practitioner and the White House housed the residence and attached surgery for doctors until 1953. Dr Morgan followed at the beginning of the last Century. After World War I Dr Luther, an Irish man, was the doctor. He was a keen bell-ringer at the church.

Next was Dr Forbes Kinnear, very Scottish, with magnificent handwriting on the records in purple ink copperplate. He also "pulled teeth", and performed tonsillectomies. For visits, horseback, or horse and trap was the mode of travel.

When the NHS began in 1948, Dr Brook joined Dr Kinnear to help cope with the new system. They were partners until 1953 when Dr Kinnear retired to Weymouth. Dr Lawn, who had retired to Puddletown and lived at Willoughby, The Square, helped Dr Brook.

By the 1950's there was an equal number of home and hospital deliveries of babies. Dispensing was a matter of liquid medicines by mouth consisting of herbs and inorganic chemicals and similar substances for the skin made up by the doctor.

The list number was 1300 in 1952 and began to increase. Dr Peter Normandale became Dr Brook's assistant in January 1955 and partner three months later. Army work was added in Dorchester with the 1st Battalion Dorset Regiment and Piddlehinton Camp was reopened, with troops there intermittently for about three years, involving 8am sick parades at the two venues. Ten years later work at local authority schools for educationally subnormal (and delinquent or disturbed) boys at Clyffe House and at Stinsford respectively was taken on, and in the late 70's at Kingston Maurward Agricultural College for a few years.

There was no off-duty cover until the Dorchester and District Rota for 1 1⁄2 days at weekends was commenced in 1965 With ten doctors the doctor only worked five weekends a year. However a Sunday afternoon away at the seaside was accepted and the medical cards of patients even instructed on the possibility of calling on any other available NHS GP in emergency. With the onset of the Rota, the largest surgery of the week, Saturday evening, had to be discontinued.
In the early 1970s Mrs Mary Normandale began working during surgery time and took over the dispensing. Dr Normandale continued to dispense for visits from his cabinet. During this time Miss Denslow, living in what is now Beehive Cottage, The Square, was District nurse, followed by Miss Barbara Smith.

In 1987 Dr and Mrs Normandale retired and Dr John Taylor took over the single-handed practice of 1,800 patients, working at first from the annexe to Dr Normdale's residence, The Coombe House. After a short period the practice moved two doors away to number 3 Whitehill for three years while a suitable site for a purpose-built surgery was secured. In 1992 Dr Anne Boyle became a partner at the same time as the surgery on Backwater was built. It was extended to two floors shortly afterwards. This building now houses a veterinary clinic.

In September 2004 Dr Taylor retired and Dr Chris Burnham joined Dr Boyle in parternship here.

In March 2011 new purpose-built premises for Puddletown Surgery were constructed on the eastern edge of the village. 

In March 2016 Dr Boyle retired and Dr Jonathan Bond joined Dr Chris Burnham in partnership.  Dr Julia Griffiths joined us as a salaried GP.  In June 2016 the practice list size is 4,170 patients and covers an area that extends from the outskirts of Dorchester in the west to Bere Regis in the east, from Ansty in the north to Higher Woodsford in the south.  

A total of 30 people share in the provision of health care from this site: Doctors, Primary Care Nurses, Health Care Assistant, Health Visitor,  Midwife, Chiropodist, Counsellors, Citizens Advice Bureau Adviser, Dispensers, Receptionists, Administrative Staff, Cleaners and a Practice Manager.

The practice prides itself on providing health care to a very high standard, using the most up to date technologies, whilst retaining a warm and caring approach to patients and their families.

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