About Us

History of The Broomhill Practice

The Broomhill Practice has a long history dating back to nearly a century. We have a few octogenarians as our patients who were actually delivered by the doctors at this practice.

Many older patients remember the days of Drs Calder and Cumming when they practised from their own houses in Balshagray Avenue and Victoria Park Drive North (the house on the corner which is now Abbeyfield). Dr Cumming also had a surgery at 551 Dumbarton Road which had no running water at that time.

Drs Calder and Cumming had inherited the practice from the Gracie brothers in Partick and the practice of Dr David Yellowlees who gave up General Practice to become a full time psychiatrist.

Drs Calder and Cumming were joined before the Second World War by Dr Matthew Dickson. The practice first had a motor car in 1937. Prior to this house calls were reached by foot or by tram. Dr Dickson served during the war and was a prisoner of war in Changi jail and the Siam Burma railway made famous in ‘The Bridge over the River Kwai’. Some patients still recall his emaciated state on his return to practice in Glasgow. Dr Cumming died during the influenza epidemic in1957 while still working.

The practice moved to 27 Broomhill Drive and then to our present location at 41 Broomhill Drive.

Dr Gordon Clark joined the practice in 1959 and was with the practice for 35 years. Dr Clark was joined by Dr Whitty in 1974 after his return from working in Bangladesh.Dr Whitty still works behind the scenes summarising the records of patients who join the practice. Dr Helen Jamieson joined the practice in 1984 and retired in 2014.


A Day in the Life of a GP at The Broomhill Practice

Sometimes patients wonder how a doctor’s time is spent and we thought it might be helpful to give you some insight.

In an average day a doctor will spend:

  • 5 hours in face to face consultations in the surgery
  • 1 hours on housecalls
  • ¾ an hour on repeat prescriptions and special prescription requests
  • 1 an hour on phone calls to patients or to hospital doctors
  • ½ an hour on dictating letters and making electronic referrals
  • ½ an hour on other paperwork such as insurance reports and benefits agency reports
  • 1½  hours reading incoming mail and processing results.


Patients often ask if we are busy with coughs and colds, and while we do often see people with these illnesses especially the very young and old and infirm who may get complications, in fact it is a small proportion of our work. Much of our consulting time is taken up with the management and monitoring of chronic illness. For example at the practice we have more than 700 patients with high blood pressure, 200 with diabetes, 190 with coronary heart disease, 30 with dementia and 60 with chronic major mental illness.

We have about 20 new diagnoses of cancer each year and about 80 new cases of depression. At any one time we are looking after about 15-20 patients with terminal illness.

Reading incoming mail and processing results

On an average day the practice receives around 100 items of correspondence regarding patients and lab results. On a Monday the figure is usually around 150. Ensuring that lab results are correctly interpreted and actioned where necessary, and instructions issued in hospital reports are dealt with is an important and time-consuming part of the day’s work. All mail is now dealt with electronically at this practice.


The doctors are partners in a small business and also employers. As such we have an ongoing administrative role in the running of the practice which is usually fitted in after hours or over lunch. Since 2003 we have been working under a new contract where a significant proportion of the practice income comes from achieving a wide range of targets both clinical and administrative. Ensuring these targets are met and the paperwork is correct is a significant workload for doctors and staff.


We have been involved in training junior doctors for a number of years now. This vital and rewarding element of our work brings many benefits to patients and staff, but the work involved in tutorials and case discussions does require a significant time commitment from the established doctors in the practice


We have weekly meetings from 0830-0900 on a Wednesday involving the whole team to discuss certain patient related and administrative matters. Any significant events that have happened in the practice are discussed at this meeting.

Keeping up-to-date

The doctors have an on-going responsibility to maintain their knowledge. We have monthly lunch time educational meetings at the practice where we study a particular clinical area. Some of the local GPs join us for these meetings.  Over the course of the year the doctors will also attend educational events organised by hospital specialists or the University outside the practice, usually at evenings or weekends but occasionally during the working week. Every year the doctors have to undergo an appraisal process. We have to gather information about all the efforts we have made over the year to maintain our knowledge and skills and are visited by an independent GP who scrutinises our paperwork and makes a report about our efforts to keep up to date.

A typical full day might be like this:

  • 8.00 - 8.30 Dictating letters, processing mail and administration
  • 8.30 - 10.50 Surgery
  • 10.50 - 11.40 Making and returning phone calls to patients or hospital and dealing with queries from reception.
  • 11.40 - 12.40 Housecalls
  • 12.40 - 13.20 Processing mail and results and phone calls
  • 13.20 - 14.00 Lunch
  • 14.00 - 16.30 Surgery
  • 16.30 - 17.00 Prescriptions and phone calls
  • 17.00 - 17.30 Case discussion with doctors in training
  • 17.30 - 18.20 Dictation and administration
  • 18.20 Home

This work is supported by our reception, administrative and nursing staff without whom now we would not be able to operate. Our practice nurse spends at least 6 hours a day in face to face consultation and also single-handedly scrutinises and records all incoming lab results. She also runs our chronic disease programmes generates monthly recalls for patients with a variety of chronic illnesses.

Our receptionists as well as dealing with reception enquiries and telephone calls have had to master new skills in recent years since we have moved to become a paper light office. They are responsible for scanning and filing all incoming mail and processing all repeat prescription requests accurately which can be several hundred items per day.

We hope that this gives some insight into the workings of our practice ‘behind the scenes’.


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