A POPULAR Silsden GP has retired.

Dr Matt Milbourn has hung up his stethoscope after three decades of providing care to patients at Silsden and Steeton Medical Practice.

He joined as a partner in 1992.

"I have really enjoyed my time working in Silsden," says Dr Milbourn.

"It has been an honour to support our patients and their families through different medical problems.

"The doctor and patient relationship has definitely changed during my time – from when the GP was the only point of contact to now having a wide team of physios, pharmacists and social prescribers involved with care.

"Our role remains key in forming diagnoses from the undifferentiated symptoms that patients present with.

"The Covid pandemic has changed the way we work but I feel important steps are now being made to return to more face to face consultations to cope with the winter viruses and Strep A.

"Consultations for patients with anxiety and depression have increased by 30 per cent, but there are now many more mental health support workers within the practice than previously to cope with this demand."

When Dr Milbourn started at Silsden, the surgery was based in a 1970s-built flat-roofed building.

But in 2014, the practice expanded into large purpose-built premises housing more than 50 staff – and the site had the capacity to provide the hugely successful Covid vaccination programme.

Dr Milbourn said general practice had "changed enormously" over the past 30 years.

"There is now so much more we can offer patients," he added.

"With the rising demand on services, it’s been hugely beneficial to join other local GPs in the new Modality AWC Partnership. I feel reassured this will provide resilience as well as offering the best aspects of local general practice as we move into the future."

Although Dr Milbourn has left general practice, he hopes to continue to provide care for patients with diabetes in community clinics – as well as spending more time with his family.

Tribute is paid to him by colleague, and Silsden partner, Dr Matt Home.

He says: "I first met Matt as one of the supervising GPs in the out-of-hours service. His good sense of humour, together with his assured style as a GP, helped persuade me to join the team at Silsden.

"Myself and my colleagues at the practice will greatly miss both his leading presence and unwavering commitment to his patients."