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Popular GP says farewell

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A popular Portsmouth GP says he hopes to spend more time cycling and fly-fishing after holding his final surgery following a 32 year career.

Dr Charles Lewis has retired at the age of 59, after seeing nearly 300,000 patients during his long serving reign as a GP. For the past four years Dr Lewis has been working as lead GP at the Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre, which is run by Care UK, one of the country’s leading independent providers of health and social care services.

He said: “I have really enjoyed my time at the centre, it was a fabulous end to my career and I have had the privilege of working with some excellent clinicians and support staff. It was a very demanding position, as the centre is open every day of the year for 12 hours per day, which is very different to my previous roles. However, my time at the centre has been extremely rewarding.”

Dr Lewis, started work as a GP in 1982 and clocked up almost 30 years working at the Sunnyside Medical Centre, in The Pompey Centre, Fratton Way, Portsmouth.

He said: “My father was a GP and he gave me quite a lot of my interest in medicines. He never pushed me, it was just something I was interested in.”

Alongside being a GP, Dr Lewis also had a special interest in helping out in the ear, nose and throat department of the former St Mary’s Hospital site.

“I’ve removed a lot of strange objects from people’s ears over the years,’ added Dr Lewis “This includes beads, cotton wool, bits of pencils and crayons and even insects. It’s all part of the job I guess.”

During his career spanning three decades, Dr Lewis says the role of GP has changed significantly.

He said: ‘Until the year 2000 doctors were on call and did weekends. When I started there were about 10,000 patients signed up and five doctors. Nowadays you get teams of around nine doctors looking after 12,000 patients. Having finished my final day, I don’t think the reality of my retirement has sunk in yet, however, it is something I am looking forward to and I have plenty of hobbies to occupy my time.”

Dr Lewis says he plans to indulge in his favourite pastimes of cycling, fly-fishing and painting.

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