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A brief history of The Fishponds Family Practice

This practice has been serving the people of Fishponds and the surrounding areas for over 100 years. It was founded by Dr Claude Bernard who at the time was working from a Victorian house at 564 Fishponds Road. His son Cyril then took over through the war years and the formation of the NHS in 1948, before it was passed to Richard, the third generation of the Bernard family to run the practice.

By the 1970s the practice had expanded and there were five partners working alongside a team of nurses, midwives and health visitors, all under one roof in a new, purpose-built “health centre”. The team at the time featured Drs Richard Bernard, Patti Van Asch, Joe Mandeville, David Felce and Liz Anstey who were together for 18 years until Richard’s untimely death in 1998 which not only brought an end to that particular partnership but to the Bernard family’s presence within the practice.

Over the next five years, the practice changed dramatically with the retirement of 3 more partners who were replaced and augmented to fulfil the changing role of primary health care. And in 2010 Dr Anstey retired after 32 years service in Fishponds.

There are now 8 doctors, a practice manager, an assistant practice manager, practice nurses, phlebotomists and a large support staff of medical receptionists and secretaries, all of whom are vital to the operation of a modern medical practice.

What we all aim to provide for our patients in the 21st Century has not however changed from the aspirations of the Bernard family all those years ago. And while we are committed to practising the highest standards of evidence- based medicine, we firmly believe it is just as important to do that with a real appreciation of people as individuals and an awareness of their place in the family and this community.