STAFF from a North-East medical practice lined the road outside their surgery today (Monday) to pay their respects to one of the region’s longest-serving GPs.

Around 30 colleagues stood under social distancing rules outside Darlington’s Moorlands Surgery as a hearse carrying Dr Tony Shaw passed by on the way to a private family funeral service.

Local residents in Willow Road also came to their doorsteps to say goodbye to the doctor who had cared for generations of families in the area.

Dr Shaw had been a GP at the surgery for 37 years and died, aged 66, following a battle with cancer. He leaves a wife, Fiona, and two daughters Harriet, 25, and Emily, 21.

Practice Manager, Lucy Smith, said: “All of the staff at Moorlands Surgery were deeply saddened to hear that Dr Shaw had passed away. He was dedicated to providing excellent care to our patients, and was incredibly kind, caring and full of fun.

“Staff have been remembering some of the great times they all shared with him and memories of him singing joyfully around the practice. We are thinking of Fiona, Harriet and Emily at this incredibly difficult time.”

GP Partner, Dr Nicola Cooling, added: “Dr Shaw was a much-loved member of the surgery, who was known for being down to earth, and having a great sense of humour. He had a very loyal group of patients and particularly cared for the most vulnerable in our society. We will all miss him.”

Office Manager, Sheena Adams, said: “I worked with Dr Shaw for 15 years. He was always very kind and supportive to myself and to other members of staff. I will miss him as he was very jovial and happy, and made us all smile when he sang to us. He will be very much missed and as a friend, colleague and a GP.”

Dr Faith Civico said: “As a GP new to the area, Tony Shaw was so welcoming from the first moment I met him and was always fun to work with. He gladly gave advice and support, using his huge depth of knowledge about medicine and about many of the patients here at Moorlands. He has treated generations of families here in Darlington and will be remembered fondly by them and his colleagues alike.”

Administrator Shirley Sinclair, who worked with Dr Shaw for 20 years, described him as “a lovely, hardworking family doctor with a wicked sense of humour”.

And Nurse Practitioner Clare Brown said: “Dr Shaw, was my friend, mentor and colleague. I had the privilege to know him for 18 years. He was highly influential in my nursing career with his support in my academic achievements. I will miss greatly his presence, his good humour, compassion and care for his patients and colleagues at Moorlands.”

A memorial is to be arranged for Dr Shaw once lockdown restrictions are lifted.