Retired Costessey GP ushers in new era for surgery

A retired GP who served Costessey for almost three decades has helped to usher in a new era of healthcare in the village.

Although he will not have the pleasure of working in the state-of-the-art Roundwell Medical Centre, for Derek Torrens the official opening of the new building represents the realisation of a dream he first mooted a decade ago.

In recognition of his efforts to secure the new health centre and his service to the people of Costessey, the new road in which it stands has been named Dr Torrens Way.

Dr Torrens, who used to live in Easton and now lives in St Stephen's Road, Norwich, said he was honoured to have had the road named after him, but joked that he thought it was an honour normally reserved for people who had passed away.

The 61-year-old, who is originally from Northern Ireland but moved to Norfolk in 1980, said: 'I was very surprised when I was contacted by the parish council, where the idea had come from.

'They have only just put the signs up and it's a strange feeling driving up a road with your name on it. The new centre is a wonderful building. I think people will be surprised at how big it is and the facilities it has.

'The original concept was mine going back probably about 10 years and now Costessey has a centre that is prepared for the many changes happening in the NHS.'

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Dr Torrens, who used to work at Costessey Medical Practice's sites in Longwater Lane and Valley Road, officially opened the new multi-million pound centre, on the corner of Longwater Lane and Dereham Road, on Saturday.

The opening was also a chance to launch a �35,000 health project aimed at improving people's health and wellbeing.

Called 'TLC' – The Lifestyle Choice – it is a partnership between South Norfolk Council, NHS Norfolk, Active Norfolk, the parish council and the new medical centre.

When it ends next Spring, Costessey will have a free to use adult outdoor gym next to the new community centre in Longwater Lane.

But it will also leave in place a new partnership between voluntary, statutory and community groups promoting and improving healthy lifestyles.

Free training will also be available for those interested in obtaining vocational qualifications in health improvement.

Do you have a health story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email