Shock at death of 'lovely' Biddulph family GP Dr John King
DOCTORS and patients have paid tribute to a popular family GP who has died after a long illness.
Dr John King, who was the senior partner at a practice within Biddulph Medical Centre, had been off sick for months.
Dr King, who is thought to be in his early 50s and from the Mossley area of Congleton, had been at the Well Street practice for decades.
An inquest is expected to be held following Dr King's death last week.
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Dr Philippa Lightfoot, who is the practice's second longest-serving GP and is now acting as the senior partner, said today: "We have lost a very highly regarded friend and colleague who will be very greatly missed."
A book of condolence has been set up at the doctors' surgery for patients to sign.
Patients today spoke of their shock at Dr King's death.
Patient and former Biddulph mayor Wayne Rogers, aged 53, of Gillow Heath, said: "He was a very knowledgeable man and an approachable doctor.
"If you were suffering from less obvious symptoms he made it his job to get to the bottom of what was wrong with you.
"He was not the type of doctor who would just bat you off with pills. Instead he would spend so much time reading up on your problems.
"He was only around my age and though he had been off sick for some time this has still come as a big shock to us all."
Donna Whitehurst, aged 34, of Knypersley, added: "Dr King had a very good manner and will be sadly missed.
"He was always very sympathetic and understanding and had plenty of time to listen to you. We can't believe this has happened."
Judith Knowles, aged 54, of Biddulph, said: "He was a lovely guy. I always felt relaxed and at ease when I saw him. He never rushed patients, just let you talk. "You really felt like he listened to you.
Everyone I know who went to see him always said the same. I'll miss him, he was probably the best doctor I've had."
Heather Rowley-Dixon, of Biddulph, said: "He was the perfect example of a GP. "He listened and was never in a rush. He was quite old school in his method, he didn't just stare at the computer, he engaged with you.
"My appointments were never cut short, he was just a really lovely man, a true gentleman. He was very young, it's so sad for his family.
"I've been coming to this surgery all my life and I think they'll struggle to find someone as good to replace him.
"He was easily the best doctor in Biddulph. It's such a shame he will never get to see the new health centre."
The practice is due to move into Biddulph's new £10 million primary care centre, off Wharf Road, next year.
A recent survey of patients at the practice gave it a score of 8.6 out of 10 for its quality of consultations with doctors – one of the highest in North Staffordshire.
An NHS spokesman said: "Dr King had been on long-term sick leave and his duties were being covered by a locum doctor."