A STAFF member at a Ryedale doctors’ surgery is bidding farewell after almost 33 years.

Pip Clark, who is assistant practice manager at Helmsley Medical Practice and Terrington Surgery, is retiring this week.

Originally starting her administration career at Poole Hospital, in Middlesbrough, Pip relocated to Helmsley in 1988, working as a receptionist at the surgery.

After becoming practice manager in 1992, Pip faced many challenges, including customising the medical practice, after the building was purchased from Scarborough Hospital.

Navigating computer networks, telephone systems and changes to the NHS, Pip has decided now is the right time to retire, with the last shift on Friday.

“We are very fortunate to live in our beautiful area and to have a practice population who appreciate the services provided,” said Pip.

“I have cried and laughed with our patients, and have watched little babies grow and come into the surgery with their own little babies and some of them with grandchildren.

“I have fond memories from the start of my career; we had no appointments and patients were called by a buzzer for one doctor and a bell for the other.

“I wish the doctors, staff and patients of Helmsley Medical Centre and Terrington Surgery all the best for the future.

“As for my future, I will surely be doing activities involving health and welfare of others, as well as enjoying my retirement in our beautiful countryside, spending time with friends and family and indulging my passion for embroidery and sewing.”

Throughout the 41 years supporting the NHS, Pip has supported fundraising efforts for essential equipment for the surgery, ambulance services and the Helmsley community.

Together with staff from Carers’ Resources and district nurses, Pip established the first GP-based carer support group in Ryedale.

Meeting once a month, carers could seek advice from the staff and share worries and successes with each other.

“We are living through difficult times and care of those less able than ourselves is vital,” added Pip.

“I hope this pandemic has shown everybody that we have an incredible, free National Health Service which we must respect and protect for future generations.”