A TOP doctor credited with saving thousands of lives returned home to see work being done by health professionals in Burnley and Pendle.

Sir John Oldham, who until recently headed up the UK's National Primary Care Development Team, has fond memories of being brought up in the area, and jumped at the chance of doing a fact-finding visit for the Department of Health.

Sir John visited Burnley's state-of-the-art St Peter's Centre and Nelson's Yarnspinners Health Centre, both of which were set up and run by East Lancashire Primary Care Trust.

Sir John, who still practises as a GP for two days a week in Glossop, near Manchester, was brought up in Pendle, attending Roughlee School and then Nelson and Colne Grammar.

His father Ken was in charge of Whitehough Outdoor Education Centre at Barley, and his mother still lives in Blacko.

He went to Manchester Medical School, became a GP, and a then a Government health advisor. Sir John, now in his early fifties, was knighted for his contribution to medical practice.