After 32 years in the NHS, Nick London has stepped back from clinical duties at Harrogate District Hospital, although he will be continuing his research work with the NHS. He remains a specialist knee surgeon with Yorkshire Knee Clinic. Here, he explains the reasons for his decision.
I’m not retiring. Far from it. But I am making some significant changes to the roles I perform. I have ceased clinical activities at Harrogate District Hospital. I haven’t left the hospital (or the NHS) because, having been delighted to accept an honorary consultant contract with the Harrogate District Foundation Trust, I’ll be continuing my research activities there and shall continue to interact with colleagues in the orthopaedic and related departments. I am continuing to develop my academic activities with Leeds Beckett University and I shall continue my teaching and training commitments. My work as a knee surgeon with Yorkshire Knee Clinic remains unchanged. If you’re reading this as a YKC patient, rest assured I’m not going anywhere.
The practical effect of this is that I won’t be directly treating NHS patients anymore. I will, however, continue to play a role working with my colleagues in the trauma and orthopaedic departments in ensuring patients receive the best standards of care. My honorary consultant position, for example, will enable me to continue working on a large research study, which is now collecting five-year data on partial knee replacement. We published two-year data last year. I will also be supporting my (excellent) successor as required, working closely with colleagues and continuing to fulfil my medical education commitments.
I’ve been a consultant at Harrogate District Hospital for 22 years. I’ve worked in the NHS for more than 32 years. During that time I have enjoyed a very busy, clinically productive career and built many extremely enjoyable working relationships with some truly remarkable people. As a consultant with Harrogate District Foundation Trust, I have been very, very proud to have helped grow the department from four consultants when I joined to 12 now, all of whom have both general and specialist orthopaedic skills. I’ve had the privilege of providing clinical care to thousands of patients.
As sad as I may be to admit it, however, something had to give. The NHS has faced astonishing challenges over the past few years and those challenges seem unlikely to subside anytime soon. With a diary filled with consultancy work, teaching, research and development, and my active role with Yorkshire Knee Clinic, it is right that I step back so that these challenges can be addressed by those who will lead orthopaedics at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust over the next decade and beyond.
Thankfully, I have confidence in the future because there remain many excellent people (not least my successor) to ensure that NHS orthopaedic care in Harrogate retains its enviable reputation.
That’s why I’m stepping back now, but I am heartened that my continuing NHS role will enable me to support my colleagues, and I shall continue to offer contemporary, efficient, specialist knee care to patients through the Yorkshire Knee Clinic.
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