The present surgery at numbers 66-68 Station Road is now styled as the medical centre and number 66 has been long associated with medical practitioners. The building was constructed as Norwood Lodge and Shelbourne in 1894 as two houses and Dr Hague was its first resident at number 66. At the corner of Halifax Road and Station Road, records show that a Dr Brooks of the Sycamores, 37 Station Road was a GP and came to Ainsdale about 1906. Records also show that Dr Segar and Dr Aspinall of ‘Westcliffe’ 10 Shore Road had a practice and we know that a Dr Spiers and a Dr West of 14 and 12 respectively were listed in 1910. By 1927 the street directory show the following doctors were resident in Ainsdale: Dr Brooks, Dr Little who was a surgeon lived at 12 Shore Road and Dr Shortt at 4 Unit Road. From this information it is possible there could have been surgeries at number 10 & 12 or even 14 Shore Road in the early part of the twentieth century. If you have any knowledge of this or other doctors at that time, please let us know to add to our information.
What do we know of more recent times is that apart from it being a popular place for medics to live there has been a number of surgeries that no longer exist. At 6 Halifax Road a Dr Edwards was in practice in the 1930’s and 40’s through to the early 50’s. Dr Molineaux practiced at 625 Liverpool Road next to St. John’s Church during the same period. At 75 Leamington Road was the surgery for Dr Hakeen before moving to 11 Chesterfield Road where he practiced from 1940 until he died in 1963. He was renowned for lengthy surgeries that went on into the late evening and a practice that had no boundary limits.
In the 1950’s Dr Kitchen who was a Birkdale GP opened a branch surgery at 48 Station Road along with Dr Alan Roscoe. On Liverpool Road another surgery opened in the 1950’s at 722 where Dr Dalliwell and Dr Altman were the GPs but some unknown reason they did not practice long.
In the 1960’s Dr Judith Cubbon opened a surgery at Pinfold Lane before moving to Canada after a short time. On the death of Dr Hakeen in 1963, Dr Naidoo opened a surgery at number 2 Halifax Road and took on partners over the coming years, including Dr Pati, Rao and Sharma. Dr Paul Smith took the practice over and it is now called the Ainsdale Village Surgery. He had a brief partnership with Dr Bond but on his retirement in 2014 the practice was hosted by Dr Lindsay Mclelland and Dr Octavia Stevens joined her in 2015.
Ainsdale Medical Centre in the later 20th Century
As first mentioned Ainsdale Medial Centre is an amalgamation of number 66 and 68 Station Road. We knew Dr Hague lived here but don’t know when he left but Dr Foster started a medical practice in 1933 here and was followed by Dr Bertrund Wallace who died in 1947. Dr J.J. Dykes Nailsmith took over the practice at this time, he was educated at Durham University and had originated in Scotland. A second doctor was taken on (Ross Hair) but subsequently moved to set up his own practice on Liverpool Road. Dr Nailsmith continued until he died in 1963 Dr Paddy Mc Cormack took over the practice where he had been previously working in Widnes. He was joined by Dr Angela Taylor who had previously been in practice with Dr Roscoe. At this time the village was expanding rapidly and the population rose from 3000 in the 1960’s to 14000 in the 1980’s so Dr Brain Garston was appointed as a partner in 1967.
Dr Roscoe retired from general practice and moved to Farnborough to take up a post in aviation medicine for which he was awarded an OBE. Dr Taylor decided to set up her own practice across the road at 19 Station Road and was joined by Dr Margaret Farley and later by Dr Ian Kilshaw and Dr Evans. After a few years in the early 1990’s it moved en bloc to Birkdale and is now the Grange Surgery.
In 1969 the practice at No 66 expanded further with the appointment of Dr John Rigg and in 1974 with Dr Stephen Bonnet. By 1981 further expansion meant that Dr Robert Russell joined the surgery. In 1989 Dr McCormack retired and was replaced by Dr Colette Nugent and by 1992 with a higher patient number Dr Sara Burns was appointed. Four years later Dr Garston retired and we were joined by Dr Foster. By 2001 Dr Rigg also decided to retire and was replaced by Dr Stuart Bennett and in 2002 Dr Liz Quinlan also joined the practice. Space was now at a premium but when the adjoining property became available for purchase in 1991 it allowed further opportunity to provide more surgery space and treatment rooms. A steady expansion followed and in 2008 Dr Wood met the need of patient numbers when Dr Bonnet retired. Although this was greatly appreciated, with the complexity and changes of the GP role, there was a mounting workload an 8th partner was appointed with Dr Sarah Aylward becoming a partner in 2013. Two years later Dr Russell retired and was replaced by Dr Fred Weindling as a partner. In 2016 we took on our first salaried GP with Dr Mel Ozkan. It is interesting that five of the GP’s working at the practice were past trainees of Ainsdale Medical Centre. We are also very lucky to see the development of crack support team with our nursing and auxiliary medical staff ensuring patients receive the best of service. Behind the scenes the practice is led by the administrative manager, Paul Ashby, he has a great team ensuring that medical records, appointments and information if kept up to date and patients are greeted in a friendly and efficient way.
There are many changes being undertaken in the NHS with many aspects of patient care being given to the local surgery but we can be assured that this is being well managed and along with our Patient Participation Group we hope to keep you informed and hopefully share best practise with your participation.
Thanks to Dr Bennett for his research of the history of medics in Ainsdale who shared this with us at the last PPG open meeting in September.