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Dr Sue Pritchard, 56, GP at Shipston Medical Centre, died on 29th January

Tributes have been paid to Dr Sue Pritchard, 56, a GP at Shipston Medical Centre, who died in the early hours of Friday, 29th January.

She had been off work since being diagnosed with cancer in October 2020.

At the time she bade a heart-breaking farewell, with the hope that she would get well and return. Addressing colleagues and patients, she said: “I am sorry to have left the surgery at such short notice, without the chance of saying a proper goodbye. It has been a privilege to serve the community of Shipston for the past 20 years. I have worked alongside amazing, competent, compassionate colleagues in a supportive team who have kept me smiling and sane! I already miss you and especially my patients who I have got to know so well over the years. I wish you all the best and hopefully I will be back as soon as able. Love Sue xx”

The medical centre team said she was a very special part of our team and loved by all.

In a statement they said: “We will remember her as the beautiful, kind and compassionate person she was; traits which have shaped and influenced us all over the years and will continue to do so.

“An incredibly kind doctor with a holistic, caring approach, Sue always put others before herself and went the extra mile to support her patients. Sue was passionate about the health and wellbeing of our community and this could be seen through her work with Drug Action Shipston and in raising dementia awareness.

“Sue was a highly intelligent and talented GP trainer for many years helping shape another generation of GP’s. This was recently recognised as she was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

“Attested by the hundreds of wonderful messages we have received, Sue left a positive influence on everyone she met brightening all our lives with her infectious smile, positivity and kindness and she will always be with us.”

Many paid their respects and shared their sadness on community Facebook pages on hearing of Sue’s death. The tributes often recalled how they had been personally helped by Sue and spoke of her compassion, and inner and outer beauty.

Before she died Sue was put forward for a fellowship of the Royal College of GPs. In his nomination Dr Chris Thorogood, a retired partner at Shipston, recalled: “On first meeting Sue as a registrar it was clear that she stood head and shoulders above her peers, she had come with glowing reports from my consultant colleagues. She had the ability to see the broader picture, the wider psycho-social aspects of patient care and the broader role of the general practitioner in the community.”

He continued: “Sue quickly established herself as the conscience of the practice, particularly in her care of and advocacy for, the more disadvantaged patients. These includes those with chronic psychological and social problems. Her ability and knowledge of the networks of statutory and voluntary sector enabling her to resolve or improve some of the most intractable problems.”

Poignantly Dr Thorogood added: “I strongly support Sue’s nomination for fellowship, she clearly deserves this recognition in the last weeks of her all too short life.”

Sue leaves behind husband Michael.

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