Doctors and Medicine

History of Brockham general practice

Brockham and the surrounding areas were for many years, served by single handed general practitioners. Following in the footsteps of Dr Arthur, Dr Boyd Newton arrived in the late 1940's. He had a loose agreement with Dr Gordon Fear in Newdigate to provide limited cover for each other and this increased over the next few years. As the work increased, Dr Terence Allison was recruited as a junior partner to Dr Newton and, on Gordon Fear's retirement, Dr James Russell joined the partnership. The practice took on its first female doctor, Doreen Burd, as a part-time partner. Initially Boyd Newton practiced from Newlands, a small bungalow in Brockham Lane, but then moved to Kilbrennan in Wheelers Lane, where he had a dedicated consulting room built.


In the 1960's the practice moved into The Old Forge in Wheelers Lane which was adapted and extended to provide two consulting rooms, a waiting room and small office. In addition to the doctors, the practice employed two receptionists. Two district nurses and a health visitor were attached to the practice and spent most of their time seeing patients at home. On retirement of Dr Fear, who practiced from his own home, the partners rented a small surgery suite, comprising a consulting room, waiting room and small office, which also served as a dispensary, in George Horley Place, Newdigate. Drs Terry Allison and Jim Russell joined the practice in 1965.  

Significant changes have occurred over the past twenty years in general practice, both nationally and locally. In 1980 Dr Peter Kober replaced Jim Russell and then in 1982,  Boyd Newton retired and was replaced by Drs Jenner and Budd, the latter leaving in 1990. Preparations were made to accommodate the introduction of various changes, which were occurring nationally, including new contracts, practice nurses and the start of computerisation. Finally the practice was able to secure a plot of land on the old Silvermist site in Strood Green, which was being redeveloped in the late 1980's. The move into new purpose built premises occurred early in 1990, as a new GP contract was implemented. At this time, Doreen Burd retired and was replaced by Dr Sheilagh Boyd and then, in 1992, Terry Allison retired to be replaced by Dr Jonathan Richards.

Further changes took place in 1994, when Sheilagh Boyd moved with her family to America, and was replaced by Dr Lucy Rawson. Dr Tamsin Sevenoaks joined the practice as a "retainer" and then became a part-time partner. Dr Jacqui Mayer joined as a part-time salaried doctor in January 2007.

The move to Tanners Meadow, with its eight consulting rooms and two treatment rooms, allowed the practice to expand and embrace the challenges of modernizing general practice. This programme has been continued by the long delayed but ultimately successful move from George Horley Place to the purpose built surgery in Rusper Road, Newdigate, with a further three consulting rooms and a treatment room. In addition to the reception areas, dispensary and waiting rooms, there are also three offices, a rest room and meeting room at Brockham.

The expansion has been necessary to accommodate the additional staff required to run a successful modern surgery striving to provide the best of care for all patients. In addition to the five partners, the practice now employs a salaried doctor. Since August 1997 the practice become a training practice and recently have had two registrars. In 2004 Julie Hampshire became the first nurse practitioner employed by the partnership. In all a further twenty five staff including managers, receptionists, dispensers, practice nurses and healthcare assistants are employed. Others using the surgery include midwives, health visitors, district nurses, counsellors and physiotherapists. The offices for Dorking Healthcare which runs the outpatients facilities at Dorking Hospital on behalf of all Dorking GP's are provided in the Brockham surgery.

Taken from Betchworth in Living Memory by Meg Ryan and Keith Harding 2001

Taken from Betchworth in Living Memory by Meg Ryan and Keith Harding 2001