ONE of Oxfordshire's longest-serving GPs will hang up his stethoscope for good today after providing care for the community for almost 40 years.

Ahead of his retirement at the end of this week, Dr John Chadwick will see his final patient this afternoon at the Botley Medical Centre and is thought to be one of the longest-serving GPs in Oxfordshire - and possibly the longest.

Described as a ‘GP of the old school’, the 65-year-old has looked after local families for generations at the practice in Elms Road which he joined in 1981.

The surgery, which merged with Kennington Medical Centre in 2017 serves about 9,500 people in Botley and it is these patients that Dr Chadwick revealed he would miss the most.

He said: “What I have enjoyed the most in my career is meeting the patients and realising they are all human beings with an illness, rather than an illness attached to a human being.

“I’ve always enjoyed chatting to them and getting to know them.

“It’s been fascinating to meet so many people, and to talk to them and learn so much from them – it’s been a real privilege.”

Dr Chadwick joined the practice at its old site at the corner of Elms Road before the surgery moved to its current location at the end of the street in 1991.

Since qualifying from Oxford Clinical School in 1978, Dr Chadwick has seen many advances in medicine and the emergence of IT systems which have vastly altered the day to day challenges of a GP.

He said: “When I first joined we had no typist and we had to do all our referral letters ourselves by hand.

“We would record our notes in dictaphones and some ladies from the local area would type them up for us.”

However, it is the changes to members of his local community that have left the largest and lasting impression on the father-of-two.

He said: “The patients I looked after in pregnancy 30 years ago; their children are now having children.

“Botley’s quite a close community and it’s been very pleasant looking after generations of the same family.

“Although, it’s quite difficult, when you’re trying to help people the and you don’t always work out what’s wrong with them.

“It can be quite upsetting.”

Secretary of the Botley and Kennington Patients Participation Group, canon Dr Chris Sugden said: “We have known Dr Chadwick since coming to North Hinksey in 1983 a couple of years after he joined the practice.

“A GP of the old school he stands for all that was best in the family GP and strenuously resists any development that would sever or loosen the relationship between a patient and ‘my doctor’.

“May he have many successors.”

The surgery will host a retirement party today from 5pm to 8pm with all patients past and present invited.