ONE of Trafford’s best known consultants and diabetes expert, Dr Bill Stephens, has retired after a 41 year career, the last 28 of which were at Trafford General. Colleagues and patients gathered in the hospital’s Diabetes Centre to say farewell to Dr Stephens and wish him well in his retirement.

Altrincham resident Dr Stephens took up his role as consultant physician in diabetes and endocrinology at Trafford General in early 1985 after qualifying in London and coming to Manchester for his senior registrar training.

During his time at Trafford General, Dr Stephens has played a pivotal role in the development of diabetes care at the hospital, making a huge personal contribution to the care of his patients.

He and his team were shortlisted for the Hospital Doctor Team of the Year award in 2007.

He also led a £500,000 fundraising campaign to build a dedicated Diabetes Centre at the hospital which opened in 2008.

Dr Stephens was very involved in training and research during his career, training hundreds of doctors over the years.

Earlier this year, he was named as the most inspirational clinical supervisor at Trafford General by the foundation year doctors.

His fundraising efforts continued over the years and have included a 300 mile cycle ride from London to Dusseldorf and taking part in the Great Northern Run a number of times for the British Diabetic Association.

Dr Stephens looks back on a career where he has seen vast improvements in diabetes care.

He said: “A major achievement was the opening of Trafford Diabetes Centre. The whole diabetes team and local people gave sterling support to our fundraising efforts.

"I hope that the Diabetes Centre will be there for a long time to come, driving up standards for this crucially important group of diseases."

He added: “Better medication is now available and there is more emphasis on teaching patients about their condition and how to manage it. Patients with diabetes can now live longer and healthier lives than at any time in history.”

He said that interacting with patients and working with the rest of the diabetes team to do our best to deliver a high standard of care had been the most rewarding aspects of heus career.

He said: "Will miss the whole of medicine – it was all I ever wanted to do from approximately the age of four.”

His retirement plans included climbing in Scotland.