A FAMILY doctor who has looked after the well-being of Ilkley people for more than 25 years is about to retire from his role in the community.

Dr Graham Rawling, 58, is to retire at the end of March, although as a long-serving GP, he is still expecting to see many of his patients around town.

Originally from Derbyshire, he came to Ilkley in 1979, seeking to work in a smaller practice in which GPs can build up a relationship with the community and the patients they treat.

He was not a stranger to Wharfedale. His wife, Angela Rawling - who recently retired after also serving as GP in Ilkley - is from Bradford. His grandparents also live in Menston.

Dr Rawling's time in Ilkley has seen the practice grow, taking on more GPs as the number of patients has grown. Dr Rawling says patients who registered with him when he first arrived in Ilkley are still on his books.

"I've been very happy here, it's been a superb place to work," said Dr Rawling.

His time working as a GP has seen many changes come and go in the National Health Service.

As well as being involved in the Coronation Hospital campaign group, he was also actively involved with the previous successful campaign to save the hospital in the 1990s.

Dr Rawling will not be moving out of town, and although he plans to spend more time playing golf, he will also continue the work he enjoys by doing work as a company doctor in future.