OBITUARY: Dr Geoffrey Kennedy founded the practice which became the Clarkson Surgery, Wisbech

A FOUNDER of the doctor’s practice which became the Clarkson Surgery in Wisbech has died, aged 91.

Born in Dublin in 1920, Dr Geoffrey Kennedy was educated at Avoca School in Blackrock. He studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin and his hospital as a student was Sir Patrick Dun’s hospital in Dublin.

He also became a resident maternity assistant at the Rotunda Hospital Dublin.

Dr Kennedy moved to Wisbech in 1948 and joined the surgery in Chapel Road, where he teamed up with Dr Prendergast and Dr Kenny.

But when both returned to Ireland Dr Kennedy was left with the practice - and he persuaded Peter Myles and Ken Elliot, both of whom he knew at university, to join him and reform the practice.

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The practice moved to Old Market in 1962 and is now the Clarkson Surgery, in De Havilland Road.

Dr Kennedy’s daughter Lisa said: “Some of the most innovative ideas he introduced was an appointment system and the use of a short-wave radio. He felt communication was probably the most important single factor in patient care.

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“They worked long hours and as well as their surgeries and visiting patients there was a rota for night and weekend work which also incorporated some of the other surgeries in the town.”

Dr Kennedy was also the founder of The King’s Lynn Vocational Training Scheme, one of the earliest schemes in the country, while in Wisbech. In 1970 Helen Ring, one of the first two trainees, was attached to the practice and Dr Nigel Williams was one of his last trainees.

In 1978 he was honoured with a fellowship of the royal college of general practitioners and became Provost of the Royal College of general practitioners in 1980.

In addition to his general practice work he was involved with Bowthorpe Maternity hospital from its beginning in 1953 to its end in 1982 and continued as an associate specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn.

He was a keen sportsman and played inter-provisional hockey in Ireland and then county hockey for Cambridgeshire. Sailing, golf and tennis were also keenly pursued.

His hobby was film making and some of his medical films were shown in various parts of the country - and as far reaching as Tokyo.

Dr Kennedy leaves three daughters and a son.

The funeral will take place on Monday February 13 at St Augustine’s Church, Wisbech, at 2pm followed by cremation at MintLyn crematorium, King’s Lynn, for 3.15pm. Family flowers only.

Donations if desired for The Friends of Wisbech Hospital can be made at the service or sent c/o Bailey & Son, 55 lynn Road, Wisbech, PE13 3DE.

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