The Pimblett Practice
The New Hall Lane Practice can trace its origins back to the Pimblett family, who initially founded the practice in the late 1890s. It is believed the first physician was Dr William Henry Pimblett and the practice was based out of the family home at 169 New Hall Lane. Back then, the practice was known as ‘Pimblett and Ramsay’.
William’s son, Dr Cedric Pimblett, joined his father in practice after qualifying as a doctor from University of Manchester in 1910. Upon his retirement in 1968 at the age of 83, he had been in practice over 50 years.
Cedric’s son, Dr Geoffrey Pimblett, joined the practice after his return from War in Burma in late 1945. He had served as a doctor in Burma and was awarded the military cross for his service.
Cedric’s other son, and Geoffrey’s brother, Jim, was a dentist who practiced upstairs above the doctor’s surgery.
Dr Geoff Pimblett is seen as the first GP who developed the practice into a thriving business. He was the practice’s first GP Trainer, and began a still ongoing ethos of the New Hall Lane Practice of training the next generation of GPs.
Drs Johnson-Smith, Smith & Millns
Dr Stewart Johnson-Smith was the next partner of the practice. He had served as an army officer and was captured by the Japanese, transported on the Burma railway! After returning from war he trained at University of Liverpool as a mature student in Medicine.
There he met Dr Ian Smith, who had served in the RAF after qualifying as a Physician. The two of them became partners at the practice alongside the two Dr Pimbletts in the early 1950s.
After Dr Cedric Pimblett’s very late retirement in the 1960s, the practice took on a female partner Dr Doreen Millns, who would have been on of the first female GPs in Lancashire at the time.
1970s – 1990s
The practice moved into its current home at the then shiny new Geoffrey Street Health Centre in 1978. The old branch surgery on London Road was demolished, and the practice was given 19 Oxford Street to rent from the council, to serve the patients in Avenham. This arrangement only lasted around 10 years and the practice moved fully into Geoffrey Street in 1990.
In 1979, Dr Geoff Pimblett’s trainee Dr Andrew Pritchett became a partner, replacing him at the practice.
Dr Andrew Mayor, who had trained as a GP in Preston, joined the practice as a partner that same year.
Dr Johnson-Smith retired and Dr Nigel Pidgeon, who trained at the practice under Dr Millns in 1984, became a partner in 1985.
On the retirement of Dr Ian Smith in 1990, Dr Rachel Atkinson joined as a partner.
Dr Millns retired in 1992 and Dr Seema Marrott, one of her former trainees, was taken on as a Partner in May 1992. She was the first non-British born GP partner at the practice.
Dr Atkinson left in late 1992, being succeeded by Dr Marrott’s husband, Dr Stephen Hirst in January 1993.
The practice continued to expand under the partnership of Dr Andrew Pritchett, Dr Andrew Mayor, Dr Nigel Pidgeon, Dr Seema Marrott and Dr Stephen Hirst from 1993 to 2010, growing to a list of over 10,000 patients at its peak.
As the practice became larger, the practice diversified; for example in fund holding, refurbishing the premises, beginning minor surgery and contraception services and taking on practice nurses to manage patients’ chronic conditions.
The Present Day
In 2010 Dr Pritchett and Dr Mayor retired after 31 years of service each to the practice.
That same year, Dr Amandeep Singh, a trainee of Dr Hirst who had just qualified as a GP, was taken on as a partner.
In 2013, Dr Pidgeon took his retirement, after 28 years, leaving the practice with only 3 partners and their salaried GP.
In 2015, the practice was fortunate to take on a former trainee of Dr Marrott’s- Dr Allen Pang – as a partner upon his qualification.
In 2017, Dr Manvinder Kaur, who had also trained at the practice under Dr Marrott in 2011, joined the practice as a salaried GP. She became partner in 2020.
In June 2023, after a combined 61 years of service to the practice, Dr Marrott and Dr Hirst took their retirement together. Dr Denitsa Bukova, who had been working at the practice since 2020 as a salaried GP, joined the partnership.