Family doctor retires after 50 years in Burnley

Dr. Singh retires from duty at Ruskin Health Centre, St. Peters Centre in Burnley.
Dr. Singh retires from duty at Ruskin Health Centre, St. Peters Centre in Burnley.

A HIGHLY respected family doctor is retiring from his practice nearly 50 years after arriving in Burnley.

Dr Narendra Singh came to Burnley in 1966 after earlier studying medicine at Rajasthan University in the Indian city of Jaipur.

Born in Delhi in September 1939, as war was breaking out in Europe, Dr Singh eventually found himself at Dr Gadsby’s clinic in Colne Road, Burnley, after a number of posts around the country.

He worked as a partner there until 1998 when he moved next door into the former Ruskin House Hotel and named his new clinic the Ruskin Practice.

The effervescent and popular Dr Singh remained there until 2007 when the St Peter’s Health and Leisure Centre opened and the practice was transferred.

Looking back on his long career he told the Express: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my career and feel very lucky to have spent so much of it in Burnley.

“I have found the English people to have been very embracing. They welcomed me and made me feel at home. I have worked here for so many years I have got to know whole generations of families.”

Dr Singh’s standing in the community saw him showered with awards including being named GP of the Year in 2008 and Lifelong Service to the Community in 2009.

But it was the news last year that he had been made an MBE that ranks as the proudest moment of his career.

“Many years ago when I was a young medical student in India my uncle said to me that one day I would meet the Queen in England. I laughed but when it actually happened and I received my MBE from the monarch in Buckingham Palace I was so emotional. My whole life flashed before me for a minute.”

Dr Singh (73) now plans to spend more time with his family, walking and playing golf. Although wife Frances will continue as a business manager at the practice.

Dr Singh also has a daughter Sasha, and step-children Miles, Jonathan and Charlotte.

He said: “I have enjoyed the most fulfilling time of my life caring for the people of Burnley. My staff, patients and family have been superb. I will miss it but I now plan to smell the flowers in my garden.”