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Practice History


The practice dates from the earliest days of the NHS. Dr Desmond Wright started up in practice at 961 Upper Newtownards Road in the new NHS in 1947, after a stint as a ship’s doctor. In 1948, Dr Leslie Goldring, after leaving the RAF, started in General Practice at Thornhill Park, and subsequently moved to 1 St John’s Wood Park in 1951. They formed a loose cooperative arrangement to cover holidays and occasional weekends.

In 1982, Dr Maria Callaghan joined the practice from her previous post as a GP Partner in Claudy, to broaden the choice for patients. At this stage a formal partnership was initiated. When Dr Goldring retired in 1985, he was replaced by Dr Hubert Curran, who had spent several years in a surgical career in hospital. Shortly afterwards, on the retirement of her father, Dr Pamela Wright joined the practice.

It was at this point that the 2 separate surgeries were amalgamated into a new purpose-built accommodation at St John’s Wood Park, which opened in February 1987. It was, at the time, considered a significant improvement in facilities, and services to patients began to expand with the advent of a treatment room under the capable control of Sr Maggie Allen.

Dr Pamela Wright met and wed an Englishman and departed to Cromer in Norfolk where she remains in practice. She was replaced by Dr Laurence Haslam in 1989, newly arrived from a stint in the NI Hospice. In 1990 Sr Christine Watson joined the practice and remains as senior practice nurse.

In the mid 1990s it became obvious that the practice was outgrowing its accommodation at St John’s Wood Park and we started to plan alternative facilities for the growing population both of patient and staff. We studied a number of possible options and settled on a cooperative arrangement with the South & East Belfast Community Trust, to design and build new premises at Church Road.

In 1999, Dr Juanita Cooke joined the practice from a background in Public Health Medicine. We were also joined by Sr Alison Slator, and shortly after by Sr Eleanor Davidson. Mrs Joy McGaughey became the practice manager.

In June 2002, after almost 7 years in planning, the practice moved to Church Road and a premises nearly 4 times as large as previously. There was a rapid expansion in the services available to patients, particularly in the areas of Chronic Disease Management, e.g. diabetes, heart disease and respiratory disease.

We are proud of our excellent facilities to enable us to deliver appropriate services to our population of patients. It is also pleasing that the old premises at St John’s Wood continues as a medical facility.

In February 2007, Dr Ian Ryans joined the practice bringing with him 10 years experience as a GP in Carrickfergus and his expertise in Rheumatology. He continues to work in the Rheumatology Department of the Ulster Hospital on a part-time basis.

Six years later, in February 2013 Dr Catherine Curran joined the practice. Dr Curran is the daughter of Dr Maria Callaghan & Dr Hubert Curran. Dr Hubert Curran retired from the practice in March 2009. Dr Catherine Curran qualified in Edinburgh and completed her GP training in Glasgow where she worked as a locum before taking up the partnership in Dundonald.