Diane’s 40 years at surgery

Diane Erskine says she loves day-to-day contact with patients and enjoys working with 'a really good team'.
Diane Erskine says she loves day-to-day contact with patients and enjoys working with 'a really good team'.

She was only planning to come to Bridlington for a holiday, but after falling in love with the town immediately, Diane Erskine is celebrating 40 years in the same job this week.

The senior receptionist at Practice Two started work at Bridlington Medical Centre on January 3, 1976, and has seen plenty of doctors come and go.

But her stay in the town was only meant to be a brief one.

Diane said: “I had just come to Bridlington on holiday originally, but I liked it that much I sent my CV in to the doctors’ surgeries and hospitals.

“It was so nice and quiet here, it was lovely.

“I managed to get a job at a garage but found out that there was a job going at the health centre which I had missed the deadline for, but Dr Bell who was one of the GPs at the practice, came to my auntie’s to meet me and he interviewed me on New Year’s Day.

“He offered me the job there and then.”

The job has changed hugely over the decades

Dr Mike Hardman, one of the GPs at the practice, said: “Di has worked with successive doctors, nurses and administrative colleagues at Practice Two for the past 40 years, seeing many changes along the way.

“The NHS, and general practice in particular, of 40 years ago was far removed from the bustling, over-stretched, high-tech job of today.

“She tells of how the district nurse would call in for half an hour each morning to take blood tests – we now have two colleagues working full time taking blood tests.

“She has adapted to them all, mastering many and being an inspirational teacher to new colleagues.

“She has developed such a mastery of the practice’s computer system that, at our recent CQC inspection, she gave a tutorial to one of the inspectors who was meant to be assessing her competence.

“Recently, Diane has undertaken the new role of care navigator, linking health, social care and voluntary sectors to provide care for our oldest and most vulnerable patients.

“Her work in this role was instrumental in our winning the Hull Health Expo award this year, and being shortlisted for a national award.

“Diane always puts her patients and colleagues before herself, arriving early, leaving late, ensuring that our patients receive the best treatment in a prompt manner. To say she goes the extra mile is an understatement.

“We cannot express our gratitude strongly enough for all that she has done and continues to do.

“We look forward to the next phase of her career, and hopefully many more years working together.”