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Yarmouth GP retires after 32 years

PUBLISHED: 09:27 01 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:29 30 June 2010

For the last 32 years he has treated thousands of patients in Great Yarmouth and even helped a human cannon ball with a headache.

Yesterday saw Yarmouth's longest serving GP Dr Alan Betts spend his last day at the Newtown Surgery.

For the last 32 years he has treated thousands of patients in Great Yarmouth and even helped a human cannon ball with a headache.

Yesterday saw Yarmouth's longest serving GP Dr Alan Betts spend his last day at the Newtown Surgery.

Dr Betts has been at the surgery since he qualified as a GP in 1978 and in that time he has become a well-known face to generations of families needing check ups, jabs and blood pressure tests.

As Dr Betts, who is 60 today, retired as a GP and senior partner of the surgery in Lawn Avenue he remembered his most unusual patient over the years - a human cannon ball.

He said: “I asked him what was wrong, he said he had a headache. I enquired what he did for a living and he said he was a human cannon ball - so I told him perhaps that is why he had a headache.

“That is what I enjoyed about being a GP - you never knew who was going to walk through the door next.”

Dr Betts has seen many changes to the Newtown Surgery over the years, including a doubling of practicing partners from four to eight and the creation of four nursing posts to take on some GP tasks such as jabs.

He said that one of the biggest changes was moving from providing acute care to preventative measures such as providing check ups.

Dr Betts added that in his 32 years one problem he continually noticed was the reluctance of men to visit the surgery with any medical complaints they may have.

Now that he is retired Dr Betts and his wife Jean plan to move to West Country where he can enjoy his two passions - walking and swimming.

He said: “I have been lucky over the years to have worked with a good team of staff at the surgery.”

Deputy practice manager Sylvia Tyrell, who has been at the surgery for 38 years said: “We will all miss Dr Betts but we have all enjoyed working with him.”

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