A LONG-SERVING doctor has been presented with a certificate of appreciation for treating patients in the upper Calder Valley for more than three decades.
Dr David Ryland was a GP at Todmorden Group Practice from 1978 until he retired in 2009.
Members of the public got in touch with Todmorden Town Council asking if some sort of award could be given to Dr Ryland for his 31 years’ service in the area.
Last week, Mayor of Todmorden Coun Richard White presented the certificate to Dr Ryland during a special ceremony at Todmorden Health Centre, attended by family, friends and colleagues.
Coun White said: “As Mayor of Todmorden it gives me great pleasure on behalf of Todmorden Town Council and the people of Todmorden to present to Dr David Ryland this certificate of appreciation.
“Todmorden Town Council wishes to applaud and acknowledge the contrubution to the benefit of the community of Todmorden made by Dr Ryland, who has diligently worked as a GP for over 30 years for the well-being of the people of Todmorden.”
Dr Ryland said he was “gobsmacked” to receive the award.
“I’m very surprised and very, very grateful,” he said.
“It was lovely to have my family and colleagues here.
“Being a GP is the best job in the world and to do it in a town like this with such a great community spirit is a privilege.
“General practice is a team game. To function properly, a GP needs the support of family but also the backup of colleagues, nurses, receptionists, office staff and the IT team.
“These are the people who put the GP in a position to do the job.
“This award is not just for me, it’s also a reflection on the other members of this fantastic team.
“It’s a recognition of the team as much as any individual.”
Dr Ryland worked in the health service for 42 years.
He qualified in 1967 and worked in Kingston-upon-Thames before moving up to Todmorden.
“The community spirit and neighbourliness here is something that you don’t get in bigger cities,” he said.
“You go and see someone who you think should be in hospital and then neighbours pop in and say they will look after them.
“Todmorden folk are the salt of the earth.”
Dr Ryland said one of the highlights of the job was seeing several generations of the same family come through the books.
“It really is a fantastic job,” he said. “You couldn’t have a better job.”
He is keeping busy in retirement.
“It’s amazing how you would think that you would have lots of time to do things but you don’t,” he said.
He is currently studying for a degree in Portuguese at Salford University. “That’s been fun,” he said.