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Trafford's oldest practising GP retires from Park Medical Practice in Timperley
TRAFFORD'S oldest practising GP has finally hung up her stethoscope - at the age of 80.
Dr Elspeth Russell took her final surgery last week at Park Medical Practice in Timperley, where she has seen generations of patients over nearly four decades.
Hale Barns resident Dr Russell said: "I am very sad to be leaving.
"I have seen people from being babies to them bringing their own children in. It has given me great pleasure to see generations of the same families.
"When I took my final surgery I did not tell the patients because it would have been too emotional.
"That is the delight of general practice."
Dr Russell has practised as a GP since 1959, since her marriage to Dr Graham Russell, now aged 82 and a retired radiologist.
She moved to general practice because that allowed her to balance her married and working life.
For the first 12 months of her career as a GP Dr Russell worked in Aberdeen. Then the family moved back to Manchester and she worked in Wythenshawe until 1975, when she moved to Park Medical Practice on Park Road - where she remained for the rest of her long career.
She believes patients today are far more aware about health issues.
She said: "Smoking has gone down greatly since the 1950s and people are far more health conscious and knowledgeable, because they have access to information. Even children know about 'five -a-day'."
She recalled that in the early 1960s she saw a child who had scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency condition.
"I asked the mother if she gave him orange juice. She said she did - and she always boiled it.
"By boiling it she was killing the vitamin C. That would never happen now because people are far more aware about healthy diets."
Dr Russell comes from a medical family, both of her parents, Ralston and Edith Paterson, were doctors. Her Scottish parents settled in Manchester, where she was born, when Ralston took up a post as director at a run-down hospital - which he helped to develop into what is today the world renowned cancer hospital the Christie.
After graduating from Edinburgh Medical School in 1956 she worked for two years in hospitals in the Edinburgh capital. Then she went to Canada where she worked for a year in a children's hospital.
She returned to her home city of Manchester to work at Pendlebury Hospital, where she met her husband Graham.
The couple have five grown-up daughters, and 10 grandchildren, aged between three and 17.
In her retirement she is looking forward to playing golf at Ringway Golf Club with Graham and spending time with her grandchildren.
Dr Nigel Guest, from Park Medical Practice, said: "She has been an invaluable and caring part of the practice for many years.
"We would have been lost without her at times."