I’m Dr Rosemary Leonard. I’m a GP at the Old Dairy Health Centre in West Dulwich, and also a medical journalist, writing for the Daily Express and Woman and Home magazine. I worked as the resident GP on the BBC Breakfast sofa for 18 years, till the programme moved to Salford.


How long have you lived in the area?
Over 30 years

What brought you here?
I was appointed a partner at a local GP surgery.

What has changed most during that time?
There have been huge changes in health care – when I started GP’s really did look after their patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but the era of the same family doctor who was always there for you  is now long gone. Instead of seeing patients I now spend far too much time doing administrative work, and chasing government targets!

What do you most value about the area/street you live in?
The sense of community. Dulwich really does still have the atmosphere of a village.

What one thing would you change?
Do speed bumps really slow down traffic, or just wreck your tyres and suspension?

What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?
As all my patients know, I always have a cup of coffee on my desk!

The most famous person you’ve seen or met?
It has to be the Queen, who gave me my MBE.

Do you belong to any groups?
Yes, the Dulwich Choral Society, and also a local book group. I can also be spotted regularly attempting to keep fit in the Dulwich College gym.

What’s your favourite place for a night out?
The East Dulwich Picturehouse for a movie, followed by a meal in one of the eateries in Lordship Lane.

Coffee or tea? Where?
Coffee – at  Volcano

The best meal I’ve ever had..
My husband and I were given a meal at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons as a present. It was really delicious.

Where’s your favourite place to walk?
I’m not much of a walker – I prefer cycling – ideally on a warm day to Knowle or Sissinghurst.

When I want to relax…
I sew, listening to a book.

What is your favourite shop?
I’m a great fan of John Lewis.

What was the last thing you bought there?
A reel of cotton, some shoe polish, and  a new sheet for my bed.

If money was no object..
The surgery would have more doctors, nurses and administrative staff.

The book I’m reading at the moment..
I’ve just finished ‘the photographer of the missing’, a poignant story set in the immediate aftermath of the WW1.

My perfect holiday..
In the winter, it has to be skiing  on a clear blue day. In the summer sailing around the Greek Islands.

Dr Leonard and her friends were holding a vintage and pre-loved clothing sale, in aid of St Christopher;s Hospice, on Saturday 2nd May, at the Old Dairy Health Centre. SE21 8SZ. Unfortunately this event has now been postponed.

This article was first published in SE21 April 2020 issue.