A dedicated Bradford on Avon doctor is retiring today after serving the town for more than two decades.

Dr Ethel Johnson, 62, helped establish St Margaret’s Surgery in 1986, and was a senior partner there until it merged with Bradford on Avon Health Centre last year, to form the Bradford on Avon Health Partnership.

Mother-of-two Dr Johnson, who has worked in the town for 29 years, graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 1974, and then trained to be a GP – an ambition she had had from a young age. She said: “I have had an amazing career as a GP over the past 29 years. “I have met some wonderful people and made many long-term and lasting friendships. “However, the time has come for my third age.”

Dr Johnson said in planning for her retirement she wanted to oversee the surgery merger and ensure her patients enjoyed an easy transition.

She said: “The merging of the practices was part of my retirement plan, and almost one year on I feel I have achieved what I had hoped for. “I wanted to be part of the merger and to support my patients, my staff and my partners.

“Because of the meticulous planning and the time spent in introducing the merger, and allowing a year for it to settle in, it is now the right time for me to hang up my stethoscope.”

Dr Johnson said she was now looking forward to relaxing and enjoying some time with her family.

She said: “I’m looking forward to developing my interests which include country walks, travelling, reading contemporary fiction, cooking and eating good food, along with the occasional glass of fine wine.

“I have also been learning to play bridge for many years, but I’ve still not mastered it – but I’m going to keep practising now that I’ll have more time.”