A WINCHESTER GP who has served the community for more than 30 years has announced her retirement.

Dr Niki Wright has announced that she will be leaving the Friarsgate Practice, where she has worked for 31 years, at the end of March.

The 59-year-old told the Chronicle that she has “very mixed feelings” about stepping down.

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Dr Wright said: “I’ve been there half my life and I have really enjoyed my time there with my colleagues and our lovely patients. I have seen people through a lot of different times in their lives and got to know them quite well, so those relationships I’ll be sad to lose.

Hampshire Chronicle: Dr Niki Wright (centre) with her colleaguesDr Niki Wright (centre) with her colleagues (Image: Dr Niki Wright)

“The general practice has changed a lot over the last 30 years, and it’s quite an exhausting job – most of the time it’s about a 12-hour day – and by the end of the day I’m usually exhausted, so I’m looking forward to having more time and energy to do what I want to do.”

Dr Wright said that there has been lots of change over the past 30 years, raising some concerns about those changes, saying that patients have had longer waits for hospital appointments since the Covid-19 pandemic.

She continued: “During that time they are coming back to us and saying ‘I’m getting worse, is there anything you can do?’. Waits for hospital treatment has definitely increased.

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“We have a new system called Advice and Guidance which is useful as we can email consultants for advice and they email us back, but we’ve then got to have another meeting with the patient to present that plan, which is more work for primary care to do.

“One positive development is the Primary Care Network, or PCN. We’re lucky to have three practices in the PCN and we work closely together and employ pharmacists and physiotherapists, all of which has been helpful for our patients.”

Dr Wright said that after a break she would like to focus more on preventative care, saying: “I want to stop and have a bit of a pause, and waiting and seeing what’s next, and then I would like to do something around healthy aging, but I’m not sure what form that will take yet.”