Retiring Liphook GP says days of seeing doctor for everything are gone

Tuesday 2nd August 2022 4:00 pm
Barbara Rushton.
Barbara Rushton (Barbara Rushton )

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A Liphook GP at the heart of change in the NHS across Hampshire is to start a new chapter in her life.

Dr Barbara Rushton joined Liphook and Liss Surgery in 1988 as a partner, retiring in 2019, but she continued to work in the wider medical community until fully retiring on July 15.

And she leaves with a warning that the days of people seeing a GP for every ailment are now long gone.

Dr Rushton said: “One of the obvious things the pandemic has done is to accelerate a digital leap forward supporting patient triage by telephone, video and online consultations.

“I recognise not all patients have understood this, but that will change with time.

“We need to develop strong teams of health professionals with a mix of skills working together with GPs in hubs that offer staff with the right skills to support our patients.

“The days have long gone when a patient should see a GP about every health condition.

“There are other specialist staff to support the GP team now – that is the present, and the future.”

As well as treating thousands of Liphook patients, Dr Rushton chaired the former South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group. It covered an area from Hayling Island to Whitehill & Bordon, taking in Waterlooville, Havant and Petersfield.

During the coronavirus pandemic she worked across Hampshire supporting primary care, the vaccination programme and the development of the evolving collaborative primary care networks of GP surgeries.

She has also been co-chair of the NHS clinical commissioners and on the Hampshire health and well-being board.

She said: “And I was involved in leading the incredible vaccination programme, which showed the NHS and primary care at its finest.

“I’m passionate about tackling health inequalities and we learnt from the vaccination programme about reaching out to vulnerable communities to encourage vaccine uptake.”

Dr Rushton is looking forward to her retirement. “I want to spend much more time with my family, and hopefully return to Nepal, where I have supported medical centres by teaching healthcare workers in remote mountain villages, a hugely rewarding role.”

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