The family of a Peterborough doctor feared to have died after going missing on a holiday to the French Alps have thanked his patients for their kind words.
Dr Robert Bailey, senior partner at Minster Medical Practice in Princes Street, Park ward, has not been seen since embarking on a hike last Thursday in Les Houches, near the mountain town of Chamonix.
The 63-year-old Peterborough dad’s disappearance has prompted a huge outpouring of tributes from his patients, some of whom have been seeing him for more than 30 years.
Commenting on the Peterborough Telegraph’s Facebook page, Lee Jackson wrote: “He looked after 3 generations of my family, and was my mum’s surgeon when she fought breast cancer twice. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Doc Bailey, and we’ll be forever grateful.”
Lyndsay Clarke posted: “He has been our family GP since he arrived at Minster Medical Practice, seeing 4 generations of our family. He far exceeded today’s expectations of GP care and compassion, dedicated to putting us at ease through difficult times, as well as taking the time out to really listen and get to know you as a person rather than just a patient.”
Among the dozens of tributes, Shiv Bailey wrote: “I would like to say a sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write a lovely comment on here and under the first PT article. The messages mean a huge amount to me and my family xxx.”
The search to find Dr Bailey was reported to be continuing yesterday. Callers to his GP surgery are hearing a recorded message alerting them to Dr Bailey’s absence and explaining that only emergency appointments are being held.
It was reported in The Times that his family have given police a photograph he posted on WhatsApp on the day he went missing which allowed mountain rescue teams to work out his exact location, but he was not found .
The Cambridge educated GP joined Minster Medical Practice in April 1990. He is clinical lead for end of life care at the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Dr Gary Howsam, clinical chair at the CCG, said Dr Bailey has been “reported by the French police as missing, presumed dead”.
He added: “Minster surgery will be open as normal and the practice are providing emotional support to his colleagues.
“Our thoughts are with his family. We would ask that people respect the privacy of family and staff at this time.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are in contact with the French authorities concerning a missing British man and are assisting his family.”