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Death of respected former Spalding GP Roy Aitken

A respected retired Spalding GP and community stalwart has died at the age of 96 after a lifetime caring for others.

In a medical career spanning over 45 years, Dr Roy Aitken made a huge contribution to his chosen profession not only locally, but also regionally and nationally.

Dr Aitken devoted his working life in Lincolnshire to the advancement of general practice at every level. As well as patient care, he pioneered placement training for junior doctors.

Dr Roy Aitken
Dr Roy Aitken

This passionate interest led him to serve for five years on the Royal College of General Practitioners’ Council for Vocational Training for General Practice in London, of which he became Vice-Chairman, having been an original Founder Fellow of the College.

Born in Edinburgh in 1925, seven-year old Roy was inspired to become a doctor after the care he received when he broke his arm falling off a beach donkey. After a schooling at Watsons he attended Edinburgh University Medical School.

Here, at 17, he met and fell in love with fellow medical student Margaret Mowat during their first lecture. Their courtship continued unbroken throughout seven years of training.

Newly qualified Dr Aitken served his National Service as an RAF Medical Officer posted to Wunstorf Air Base in Germany during the Berlin Airlift.

He and Margaret had two children, John and Elizabeth.

From 1951 to 1985 Dr Aitken saw the Church Street Practice’s premises evolve from two cramped front rooms in the senior partner’s house into a purpose-built surgery.

Under his influence, Continuing GP Education (then in it’s infancy) and Health Service Management were enthusiastically embraced by the practice. In 1974 he studied at the King’s Fund in London in preparation for his role as Lincolnshire Representative responsible for safeguarding the interests of the county’s GPs, as the government’s reorganisation of the NHS was rolled out.

Roy also co-founded the East Midlands Faculty Board of the Royal College of General Practitioners, serving on the newly-formed local Accident Alert Service rota.

He enjoyed membership of Round Table and Rotary, especially treasuring the many firm friendships formed therein.

He continued working part-time for the DHSS for 10 years after retirement.

Under his Chairmanship of the Spalding Townhusbands and with the help from the John and Lucille van Geest Foundation, the number of almshouses was doubled to over 50. While Deputy Chair of Age Concern for 20 years, he helped push through a £350,000 building programme which resulted in the construction of superb, modern Day Care facilities.

Dr Aitken also joined the Masonic Movement.

In 2019 he and Margaret celebrated their Platinum Wedding. He leaves his widow, daughter, four grandchildren, daughter-in-law and two great grand-sons.

A believer in Laughter Lubricating Learning, laughter lubricated everything Roy did and he will be remembered by all who knew him with much affection.

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