Dr Smart is Retiring
A letter from Dr Smart to us all as he looks towards retirement from general practice on 18 December:
|‘A fortunate man with a beautiful wife’|
I will be leaving Leicester Terrace on the 18th of December 2020 after 30 years in general practice.
The book, “A Fortunate Man” describing a general practitioner / patient relationship, influenced my career choice so many years ago and consequently I became a GP. I have been privileged to develop the special relationships involved in a general practitioner’s career through those many important life events; through birth, illness and death.
The trust developed in a few minutes and revelations made, spark a remarkable relationship that grows over time.
I particularly remember one husband and wife coming to me separately, she suffering from postnatal depression, he with anxiety and an alcohol problem, neither sharing their fears with the other. Guiding them towards help, with talking therapy, medication and marital counselling, I now see their children approach parenthood within a happy and stable family; an example of the great joy that can come from being a General Practitioner.
I am immensely grateful to you my patients, for all that you have taught me of life, health, illness and fortitude. It has been a real privilege to share that journey with you, encouraging you to make healthier choices, finding more hope and self-compassion along the way.
For various reasons including my Christian faith, whole person care is central to me. I have been able to develop several initiatives to move local health services towards this aim. I am grateful to my partners, especially Dr Fiona Moore and Sue Hart for filtering my many ideas and recognising the useful ones.
I have a beautiful wife, who has supported my interest in mental health care, through the long hours and struggles of a general practice career. Her inner beauty, faith and compassion have been infectious and helped me through dark times. I have two daughters of whom I am incredibly proud and my principal wish in retirement is to spend more time with my family and friends.
I hope to continue working over the next few years as the Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board for Northampton, as a Trustee at Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust, leading social prescribing and community resilience with GPA General Practice Alliance, the GP Federation that covers almost all of Northampton.
I will continue working with the local Churches to support their response to the growing mental health needs of our county, which including recently working with the Bishop of Brixworth.
Lastly, I hope I can encourage you all to take the Action for Happiness pledge,
"I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me."
I took this pledge 10 years ago and now chair the local Action for Happiness group in Northants with the aim of developing a social movement to increase happier living. Visit https://www.actionforhappiness.org/ or locally, follow @a4hnorthants on social media.
So, although I am leaving clinical practice, I know that we shall be able to continue a relationship into the future, a future of health and wellbeing. Just as depression can be infectious, so too are happiness and good will. Together we can work to spread love and happiness.
I wish you well and know you are in safe hands with my partners and team at Leicester Terrace Health Care Centre. The team has changed but the passion for quality of care remains – an Outstanding Team.
Dr David Smart