North Cumbrian GP hangs up his stethoscope after more than 30 years

Doctor John Honeyman
Doctor John Honeyman

For more than 30 years, Dr John Honeyman has been a familiar face to people in one Cumbrian town.

But the GP, who began working at Wigton's medical practice in 1984, will call time on his career helping others when he retires at the end of the month.

Looking back, Dr Honeyman said it was always his intention to become a general practitioner, following in the footsteps of both his grandfather and father, who both practiced in Carlisle.

Having qualified at the University of Edinburgh in 1980, Dr Honeyman worked in Peebles before moving to Wigton, where he joined senior partners George Brown and Robin Swindells at the practice on Half Moon Lane.

"I always intended to become a GP. I was aware of what being a GP meant, given that both my grandfather and father were also in the same profession," he told The Cumberland News.

"Over the past 30 years there's been some great advancements. It's also a great community to live and work in.

"People have been so generous over the years.

"It's been great to work alongside so many different people.

"The staff, such as the physios and district nurses, have been great to work with, as have the people at Wigton Hospital."

Dr Honeyman added that there are two moments that he looks back on with particular fondness.

"We moved to the purpose-built building that we're in now in 2005 and that brought everyone together under one roof, which was great for the town," he said.

"It helped to secure the future of the practice.

"The other thing was when we were rated as "outstanding" by the Care Quality Commission in 2014.

"It was great to be part of that. There were only 10 others in England at the time and it shows how great the team works together."

Although he will retire at the end of the month, Dr Honeyman will be teaching and training over the summer.

"I'll completely finish in September," he said. "After that I'll be spending some time in the lakes and also down in Cornwall as well.

"I'm going through mixed emotions at the moment.

"I was in a position where I was speaking to 70 or 80 people a day and I'm going to miss that."

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