Hemel Hempstead is an old town 21 miles north west of London. In the 1950s a New Town was added to the old and November 1951 saw the setting up of the practice by Drs Sheila and John Fletcher at Adeyfield. Soon after, the new neighbourhood was developed on a bare plateau of land and a second surgery was started from two rented rooms in a cottage at Bennetts End in 1953. At this time Dr John Jamieson joined this flourishing practice which was caring for nearly 2000 patients just five years after the start of the NHS. In 1955 a new purpose-build surgery at Bennetts End was rented from the development corporation and improvements were made to the Adeyfield Surgery. The partnership gradually expanded to five doctors at Bennetts End and four at Adeyfield with Drs Drake and Lim joining in 1974.
From the start, the doctors held infant welfare and antenatal clinics in the surgeries. In the 1960s the experienced doctors became GP and medical student trainers and new services for patients, such as family planning clinics, were added. The Practice also established an early interest in research. Whilst today it works in conjunction with the Medical Research Council and the Primary Care Research Network, it was involved in the RCGP Pill Study from as early as 1968!
In 1981 the two practices came together and built one new surgery building at Gatecroft, opening in 1986. The new GP contract and fundholding presented new opportunities during the 1990s for the delivery of health care services. In partnership with many local people, the surgery building was once again extended, this time to provide additional new facilities for in-house physiotherapy, counselling, adolescent health and travel services as well as a refreshment area from which the Friends of Bennetts End Surgery (FOBES) provide a warm welcome. The extended services for patients were opened in 1999 by Sir Donald Irvine, President of the General Medical Council, and Lady Sally Irvine. This development has gained national recognition with an NHS Beacon Award.