Dr Hamish Meldrum

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BRIDLINGTON GP and chairman of the British Medical Association, Dr Hamish Meldrum, is retiring from his practice after 33-years.

Dr Meldrum joined the Bridlington Medical Centre on Station Avenue back in 1978 but has spent less time practising there over the last few years after becoming chairman of the GP Committee in 2004, followed by his appointment as chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) in 2007.

He is continuing as chairman of the BMA and his commitment to the role is part of the reason why he has decided to call time on his work at the Medical Centre.

He said: “I have been in the practice for over half my life so it is quite a wrench and I will certainly miss all my patients, staff and colleagues.

“It has been great, but life moves on.

“At first I was down in London two-days a week, but for the last few years I have been down to one day a week at the practice and it is quite difficult to keep up to date with things when you are only there once a week.

“Medicine is a fast-moving profession and the BMA role keeps me so busy it seemed like now was the right time to leave so that my lifestyle becomes slightly less hectic with all the travelling between London and Bridlington.”

Dr Meldrum has seen many changes during his time at the Medical Centre, both in the practice itself and up at Bridlington Hospital.

When he joined the centre, it had 3,500 patients on its books and it now has almost double that, and he has also witnessed the gradual reduction in services offered by the local hospital.

And although Dr Meldrum is hanging up his stethoscope, there will be no relaxing in the garden as he intends on remaining BMA chairman for at least another year.

“You go into medicine to work with patients and colleagues and I certainly will miss that side of things, but obviously I’m still going to be heavily involved in the profession,” he said, adding that when he steps down as chairman he plans to leave his St John’s Close home to retire in his Edinburgh hometown.

Dr Meldrum, who will celebrate his 63rd birthday in the next month, recently addressed almost 400 doctors at a meeting in central London where he spoke out on the government’s planned overhaul of the NHS.

He said that it was difficult to argue against some of the government’s claimed objectives, including greater involvement of clinicians in decision-making and more information for patients, but that it was the reality of the new system, not the rhetoric, that really mattered.

Dr Meldrum’s role as Chairman of the BMA regularly sees him speak out on matters of national importance to the medical profession and part of his work is ensuring that doctors are supported in delivering the highest quality care to their patients and that the NHS remains true to its founding values and principles in an increasingly complex environment.