SADNESS and a sense of great pride were the overwhelming emotions for a popular and respected family GP who has called time on an illustrious career in Burnley.
Dr Venkataswamy Narayana, who spent 33 years as a partner at the Thursby Surgery, has retired from the post where he made many friends and won many admirers.
Such was Dr Narayana’s standing in the local community, he was recently awarded the MBE for his service, receiving the honour from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.
Dr Narayana was born in Bangalore, India, and came to England in 1974 and, after spending a few years in Manchester, settled in Burnley, the town he is now proud to call home.
He said: “When I first arrived from India, I would never have dreamed I would one day be receiving an MBE at Buckingham Palace with my family. It was a very proud moment.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working at Thursby Surgery. The people here are lovely – it has been a delight and honour to look after them.”
Dr Narayana, a former long-standing chairman of the Professional Executive Committee of the PCT, has seen many changes in Burnley’s health service in recent years.
He said: “The most important thing about change is that people matter more than buildings. Changes come and go but I still believe the NHS is the best institution in the world. We should cherish it and be proud of it.” Dr Narayana, whose speciality was treating diabetes, also helped to deliver babies in his long career and treated generations of the same family.
He is married to community paediatrician Elizabeth. Their two children Chamu and Dileep are also doctors.
He added: “I plan to pursue my hobbies in retirement which include walking, painting, travelling and of course watching Burnley Football Club.
“There have been a few tears since I decided to retire but now is the right time.
“I will never forget all the staff and patients who I have known over the years.”