A WELL-respected GP who has treated tens of thousands of patients has hung up his stethoscope.

Dr Geoff Jolliffe officially retired from full-time surgery work yesterday having overseen the move of Risedale Surgery to Barrow’s new health centre.

The GP of 35 years set up Risedale Surgery single-handedly 25 years ago having previously worked at Duke Street Surgery and Liverpool House.

A quarter of a century ago things were much different in the NHS as Dr Jolliffe, 61, recalls.

When he opened Risedale Surgery he had less than 3,000 patients but knew each and every one by name.

Each of his appointments lasted just five minutes and appointments were written in one large book on reception.

This was a time when GPs would pay three visits to new mums at home and conducted development checks on babies until they were three or four.

“No one had a computer and there was no internet to look up medical conditions,” he added.

On average each of his 3,000 patients visited him three times a year - twice the rate in 2019.

During his career he has also taken on a number of advisory roles and has been involved in the Clinical Commissioning Group in a bid to improve health services in Barrow.

Dr Jolliffe, a dad-of-seven, said: “When I started work with the CCG it was, for me, all about trying to improve the problems experienced in the Barrow area.

“We’ve done a lot of work and had some massive achievements, such as saving maternity services in Barrow and with the new Alfred Barrow Health Centre, but there is still a lot to be done.

“It’s all about getting better, more tailored health services for the people of Barrow and making sure our voice is heard.”

Dr Jolliffe will continue working for the out-of-hours GP service Cumbria Health On Call and as clinical chair of the CCG but plans to spend more time with his family.

“I just want to work a bit less and I think I’ve done my fair share,” he said.