One of the pioneers of small scale operations at doctors’ surgeries is hanging up his stethoscope.

Dr Ken Menon, who has retired from The Ongar Surgery in the High Street after 33 years, started performing minor surgery there in the early 1980s, when it was one of only a handful in England to do so.

He said: “Over the past 25 years, there’s been a large-scale shift of services from hospitals to the general practices.

“We would do anything that could be done under a local anesthetic, like removing skin lumps and very mild forms of skin cancer and performing vasectomies.”

He met his partner at the surgery, Dr Ifthikar Qazi, while working as a surgeon at St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping.

“He invited me to go over and work there and it was my first and only job in general practice,” he said.

“About 30 years ago, Ongar was a dozy little village and it’s changed a lot, into a vibrant town now. It looked a nice place to live and work.”

He first moved to Longfields, near Ongar High Street and moved to Hook End, near Blackmore, in 1996.

He did his training in Sri Lanka and moved to the UK in 1975, working in hospitals in Nottingham, Surrey and Chelmsford before joining the Ongar surgery.

He has been given various medical awards throughout his career, including two prizes from the Royal College of General Practitioners for achieving the status of fellow and encouraging his colleagues to become members.

During his retirement, he plans to help out back at the surgery when needed and will sit on the area’s new clinical commissioning group, which replaces the primary care trust.