A doctor is hanging up his stethoscope after more than three decades.
GP Roy Wallworth is retiring from the Peel House Medical Practice in Accrington after 33 years, during which time he has helped many thousands of people.
Dr Wallworth thanked his patients in a simple but touching message ahead of his planned departure from the Paradise Street practice on November 17.
He said: “I would like to wish them good health, and to thank them for trusting in me and sharing their thoughts and worries with me, and I hope in some way I have been helpful to them.”
Dr Wallworth, 59, joined Peel House as a trainee practitioner in 1984 and has lived in Accrington ever since.
He met his wife Pauline at his first job at Accrington Victoria Hospital where she was working as a nurse, and they now live on Woodfield Avenue.
He said that although much has changed in the job, the years have flown by.
He said: “It doesn’t feel like 33 years but when you think in detail of what’s happened in that timeframe, it does, but it seems to have gone in a flash.
“When I started you had to carry your bleeper everywhere, and put money in the phone box or leave money by a patient’s telephone if you needed to be contacted.
“All the children when I started are now adults with their own families, and it’s been nice to see that and follow their lives.”
Although the medical profession and NHS has changed ‘massively’ during his career, the GP is positive for the future.
The father-of-two said: “What I have seen is hopefully a significant reduction in things like heart attack and uncontrolled asthma and strokes, so there has been a big improvement there.
“I think general practice itself has become a lot more complex over the years. But I think we are now beginning to see the stage where we are entering into an information age with the use of the internet.
“What makes me optimistic about the future is the resurgence of general practice and the improved approach to care and developing that service when resources are scarce. When I first started we had very short five-minute appointments and now that’s gone up to 15 minutes.”
Although he is retiring from clinical practice, he will continue to work part-time in an educator role supporting and assessing doctor training, although he says he does hope to take more time for his hobby of cycling.
He added: “One of the nicest things a patient said to me is how ordinary I am, that is what I strive to do to make it feel like you’re talking to a friend.
“It’s been really positive overall.”