Farewell after five decades

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Hor­sham’s Carolyn Bil­son plans to ‘re-fire’ rather than re­tire when she leaves her role at Lis­ter House Clinic next week.

Mrs Bil­son started as a re­cep­tion­ist at the clinic in 1968, ‘when the only pre­req­ui­sites were com­pe­tency in English, be an ef­fi­cient typ­ist and have leg­i­ble hand­writ­ing’.

“When I started there were eight doc­tors, four staff mem­bers and one the­atre as­sis­tant,” she said.

“There was an in­flux of doc­tors and spe­cial­ists over the years, tak­ing the num­ber of pro­fes­sion­als to 13. Sadly the de­par­ture of six doc­tors from Novem­ber 2016 has brought the num­ber of doc­tors back down to that of the late 1960s.

“I think there needs to be more in­cen­tives to at­tract young doc­tors to our beau­ti­ful part of the world.”

Mrs Bil­son said the clinic it­self had un­der­gone a raft of al­ter­ations and ex­ten­sions to be­come ‘the light, airy, mod­ern build­ing it is to­day’.

She said she had loved work­ing at Lis­ter House.

“I started work­ing went part-time when ba­bies,” she said.

“I went back full-time again and now I’m fin­ish­ing as a part-timer. Through­out my time here many staff have come and gone. I’ve trained most of the re­cep­tion­ists and hope­fully they didn’t pick up too many of my bad habits.

“I’ve also been lucky to work as a per­sonal re­cep­tion­ist for Dr Chris Fo­ord, Dr David Leem­bruggen, Mr Gra­ham Kitchen and Mr Ian Camp­bell.

“I’ve made many friends and I’ve en­joyed see­ing so many spe­cial pa­tients, some as ba­bies who went on full-time, then I had my two to be­come par­ents and even grand­par­ents.

“I hope I’ve been able to of­fer a sym­pa­thetic ear and un­der­stand­ing.

“To see a pa­tient leave with a smile on their face is a won­der­ful feel­ing.”

Mrs Bil­son said she said looked for­ward to the next chap­ter of her life, which would in­clude spend­ing more time with her hus­band Bryan and their fam­ily, as well as delv­ing fur­ther into her pas­sion for art.

Mrs Bil­son has won prizes for her paint­ing and has ex­hib­ited work on many oc­ca­sions, but hopes some ad­di­tional spare time will al­low her to be­come ‘more pro­lific’.

Mrs Bil­son will fin­ish work at Lis­ter House on Wed­nes­day next week.

“Ev­ery day at Lis­ter House has been a chal­lenge but there is nowhere else I’d rather work,” she said.

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