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AXMINSTER: GP is retiring after 30 years

Thursday, 05 June 2014

CAPTAIN VANN: Dr James Vann hopes to sail more when retired

CAPTAIN VANN: Dr James Vann hopes to sail more when retired


An Axminster GP has held his last surgery after more than 30 years in town. It will not be a clean break for Dr James Vann, though, as he will remain involved with Axminster Medical Practice until he is formally retired in November. In that time he hopes to help broker a favourable resolution to the situation at Axminster Hospital. As previously reported, the 10 remaining in beds at the hospital are under review and the relevant NHS bodies are looking at the future provision of community hospitals, community nursing and urgent care services. Dr Vann, who saw his last patient on Friday, May 23rd, has been a vocal participant in the debate and done battle with the NHS bodies involved. When asked if he is retiring when there is unfinished business, he said: “I am owed six months of sabbatical time but will be part of the practice until November. “I will spend time to see what we can do about the hospital in that time.” In retirement he also hopes to spend more time tending to his small-holding on the outskirts of Axminster and make more use of his sailing boat in Greece. Having started working life as a bio-chemist, he changed career path and trained to become a GP. He qualified in London and arrived in Axminster via London and Gloucester in 1981. Dr Vann said: “The job was advertised and we came down for an interview. “We liked it and they liked me, so it worked.” Over the last few weeks he has introduced his patients to his successor, Dr James Ashby, who will become a practice partner in November. Looking back, Dr Vann said: “I feel very lucky to have worked in the Axminster practice. “I feel proud that in Axminster we have kept the balance of good personal GP practice, while at the same time keeping abreast of modern medicine.”

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