The leader of Crawley Borough Council has received one of the highest honours in his work as a GP.
Cllr Howard Bloom (Con, Southgate) has been a GP in the town since 1981 and at the weekend he went to London to accept the Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). It is given for service to general practice and the community.
Cllr Bloom came to live in Crawley taking up a post as a junior doctor at Crawley Hospital in 1977, entering general practice in 1981 in Gossops Green.
He has been a Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners since 1981 and has been a member of the Council of the College for the last six years representing GPs in the South West Thames Region.
Cllr Bloom said: “It relates to general practice, service to the community and the government and being involved in the community in local government is a plus point.
“It’s an achievement and I’m very happy to be made a fellow. It’s an honour.
“Doctors are keen on letters and I’m now FRCGP instead of MRCGP. You get recognition from your colleagues. It’s usually academic doctors who get the fellowship, so to be a grassroots GP is quite good.
“In Crawley I think there are four or five or six.”
It is his work outside medicine which would have been influential in him being rewarded with a fellowship.
He has been a member of St John Ambulance for more than 30 years and was Assistant Chief Commander St John Ambulance England and is an Officer of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, the worldwide umbrella organisation of St John Ambulance.
Dr Bloom was first elected to the borough council in 1984 and 1988 representing Gossops Green, joining the Senior Civil Service at the Department of Health 1991.
After taking early retirement in 2004 he rejoined his old practice and was elected to the council again in 2006 representing Southgate ward.
He has served as mayor and deputy mayor and was elected leader of the council in September.
On West Sussex County Council was a member of the West Sussex Health Scrutiny Committee from 2006 to 2013 and the member for Southgate and Crawley Central from 2009 to 2013.