Regional Manager Wendy, who leads our Newton practices, began work at Newton-le-Willows’ Bridge Street Surgery (its name was changed to Newton Medical Centre when it moved premises in 2012) on September 4, 1994, as a receptionist and was promoted to Practice Manager in 2001.
Wendy, pictured with flowers awarded to her for her long service, said: “The practice was taken over by SSP Health in January 2004. We were the sixth practice to join SSP Health. Drs Pitalia were like a breath of fresh air – the previous partners had stagnated the practice and there was no innovation.
“SSP invested in more admin staff and expanded our nursing team.
"They also promised me a purpose-built surgery (the building we were in was not fit for purpose being in an old detached house on three floors) and they kept their word when we moved into Newton Medical Centre on August 2, 2012.”
Wendy has seen lots of changes in primary care over the years, including the introduction of computers (all prescriptions were handwritten); the appointment system was patients queuing up in surgery and having to wait to be seen; letters were typed – on a typewriter! She says the practice was only computerised in 1999 followed by an appointment system in the early 2000s.
Wendy said: “There was no scanning or electronic discharges – all hospital correspondence was posted and manually filed in a patient’s Lloyd George record.
"We also had no Practices Nurses or Health Care Assistants – GPs did the baby checks, the baby immunisations, post-natal checks and cytology.”
Wendy has been married to Gary for 39 years and has two daughters, Fiona and Rachel and has two gorgeous granddaughters, Harriet, who is almost five, and two-and-a-half-year-old Iris.
Wendy, Gary her daughters and partners have been invited to watch a football match with hospitality at Wigan Athletic by SSP Health as part of her long-service celebrations.
It is a stadium that Wendy knows well, because despite working over the border in St Helens, she is an avid Wigan Warriors RL fan and has been a season ticket holder since 1995.
She said: “I follow them up and down the country as well as abroad, including one day travelling from Liverpool to Carcassonne in France then to a small village called Limoux to watch 80 minutes of rugby and straight back to the airport and a flight back home the same day to be in work the following morning!”
That’s dedication, Wendy – and thanks for your dedication throughout that 25 years! Best wishes from everyone at SSP Health.