Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Donneybrook in 1967

Below is a booklet explaining how Donneybrook introduced its "appointments system" in 1967.

I like the fact that in those days you could make an appointment by just calling in the surgery, telephoning between 9am and 4pm or (my favourite) by letter whilst enclosing a stamped addressed envelope !! :)

Nowadays you have to be up at the crack of dawn, telephone the surgery and redial about 70 times to be in with a shot at getting an appointment for that day.

Oh, for the good old days of organised appointments and not the free for all system we seem to have now !

Incidentally, Donneybrook Medical Centre, along with Clarendon House Medical Centre which ajoined it on the same site, was one of the first large group practices in the country !
(More on Clarendon House at a later date).

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 photo c76a3806-d3b2-47d7-adc2-9bf29fb27b95.jpg  photo b5be9424-105a-4209-98c7-1a98ff1a329d.jpg Donneybrook can be seen to the left of this shot.


Susan Jaleel said...

I remember this group practice opening; it was the year my mother died. I was sorry it hadn't been there a bit sooner so that she could have benefitted from it and avoided the chaotic workings of Dr Ellis, who thought it was perfectly proper to call on a terminally ill patient at 11 pm to give night sedation and pain relief. Anything had to be an improvement to that, surely.

John Taylor said...

In the '60's our doctors were Burrows and Bennett (John). Dr Burrows was master of the North East Cheshire drag hunt. We used to cater for that at the Oaklands.

Before that our carer was Dr Ellis, now who remembers him?

Hydonian said...

@ Susan - Yes, It was a vast improvement on what it was like previously.It must have seemed so efficient to have everything and everyone in the same building,too !
@ John - Yes, I remember Dr Ellis. He was my husbands Doctor when my husband was a youngster.

Susan Jaleel said...

Just a couple of personal anecdotes in remembrance of Dr Ellis!

His surgery hours were erratic and, as there was no appointment system, if you wanted to see him you merely joined the crowd already assembled in the waiting room which, most of the time, resembled a giant rugby scrum. The waiting time would be hours rather than minutes, and it was well known that, at times, the doctor would vacate his premises and, unknown to those waiting, would enjoy the main feature at the Ritz. Meanwhile, back at the surgery, increasing numbers had gathered and no-one was any the wiser!

People used to say "He's a good doctor, and when you send for him he will always come." What they omitted to mention was that the home visit would most likely take place between 8 and 11 pm - bearing in mind that he would first have to get back from the pictures and clear the waiting room. I can't say if he was a good doctor or not, but it's worth remembering that he was around in a time when most ordinary folk deferred to doctors, clergy, mayors and councillors etc.

His surgery, where he also lived, was a huge place which stood at the junction of Union Street and Ridling Lane. I'd say it was one of the most famous landmarks in Hyde in its time.

I vaguely remember two other doctors in Hyde in the 50s and early 60s - Brindle and Dickson. They weren't, as I understand it, partners of Dr Ellis, but you could go to Dr Dickson's surgery at the corner of Knott Lane and Dowson Road, and you were in and out within 30 minutes as a rule. Does anyone else remember these doctors?

Kenneth Cox, NEWTON. said...

Dr.Ellis was my doctor and there wasn't a better doctor in Hyde. He was also the police doctor and in those days he didn't have cover. I remembering calling at my gradmothers at 12 at night, you wouldn't get doctors today doing that. So lay off Dr. Ellis, he was a hard working family doctor who would come and see you no matter what the time was. What is a couple of hours when today you might have to wait days before you see a doctor.

Hydonian said...

remember Dr Dicksons surgery on the corner of Knott Lane but cant remember if I ever visited it. We used to walk past when we were kids and never failed to say "Is that Dr Dickson of Dock Greens House". lol

Anonymous said...

I remember Dr Dixon's surgery too Nancy !, he always had a box of smarties in his desk drawer to hand out to children that visited !

David Hamilton.

JohnT said...

Dr Phillips on Croft Street, does anybody remember him? The waiting room was always full of cigarette smoke! From memory there was a circular cast iron burner in the corner of the waiting room.

jay johnson said...

Hello, I have read this posting with interest, the small amount of Drs, who cared for such a large mill town. Thinking of the industries that caused so many illnesses, there are none of these nowadays, yet twice the number of Drs, no appointments!
I remember Dr Ellis very well. My grandma thought he was God, whatever he said she did, and she lived to be 87yrs old.
There was also a section of Clarendon house which hasn't been mentioned. Drs, Livingstone,Lee,Graham bennett, Peter Bennett, I think Dr Mcgilvery was one of the originals.
These Drs I think originated through the likes of Dr Grau and Dr Dixon (he always cadged fags off my mum in law)I also remember the reception was ruled with a rod of iron by someone called Christine.

John Taylor said...

Yes, I was also very fond of Dr Ellis. Mum told me when he first came to Hyde he went around on a bike! I had asthma as a child and he took good care of me in Syddall street. Many kids had chest problems in those days what with the air being so full of soot after the war. It was quite common to see a sparrow with bronchitis in the mornings!

Dr Ellis liked his tipple but he was always there for you and many times didn't even charge.

He was a good man and may he R.I.P having taken care of many people in Hyde with love and dedication

He might have visited patients late at night (so what) but you don't get that level of commitment these days, no way, and at 500 times the cost!

Susan Jaleel said...

I don't think you can compare what Dr Ellis offered with modern medicine. He was fine for his time, but I will never agree that doing home visits late at night, except in an emergency, was ever acceptable. My mother was at the end of her life and in extreme pain but we had to sit and wait for the "best doctor in Hyde" to come at 11 pm to give pain relief. Sorry, but I will never excuse him for that.