General Practice Awards 2019

Pulse’s annual awards celebrated outstanding contributions to the profession from individuals, teams and – for the first time – primary care networks

This is an edited version of an article which first appeared on Pulse Today

GP of the Year – Dr Farzana Hussain

This east London GP has been named Pulse’s GP of the Year, in recognition of the forward-thinking care she provides in the face of challenging circumstances.

Dr Farzana Hussain was presented with the prestigious accolade at the General Practice Awards, run by Pulse and our sister titles, on 29 November at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London.

Dr Hussain has been acknowledged for her resilience after being left as the sole partner following the death of a colleague at The Project Surgery in Newham. She has improved access to appointments in an area that otherwise has one of country’s the lowest patient satisfaction rates.

Praised for her ‘inspiring courage, hunger and curiosity for learning’, Dr Hussain said: “I know we work for our patients, but this is just such a lovely external appreciation.”

GP Trainee of the Year/Rising Star – Dr Emma Ladds

Dr Emma Ladds has been singled out as our GP Trainee of the Year. This award, sponsored by Healius, honours her smooth integration of daily practice and academic research.

Dr Ladds, who is training at Oxford’s Summertown Group Practice, divides her professional interests between Compassionate Communities, leading a frailty-focused project to improve communication between primary and secondary care, and the wellbeing of patients with complex needs, drawing inspiration from her masters in public health from Harvard.

Also a GPST3 academic clinical fellow and tutor at the University of Oxford, Dr Ladds supports new GPs via Next Generation GP. Having assumed she didn’t stand a chance in the awards, Dr Ladds was overwhelmed with pride that her projects, described as ‘invaluable’, had won recognition.

PCN of the Year and Best PCN Newcomer of the Year – Healthier Fleetwood Neighbourhood/NeoHealth

Last year saw the introduction of primary care networks into the GP contract, and Pulse was inundated with nominations of a high calibre from both new and established networks for its two categories, both sponsored by NHS England.

The PCN of the Year accolade was taken back to Lancashire by Healthier Fleetwood Neighbourhood, which won plaudits for integrating the disciplines of healthcare professionals and local authorities, contributing strongly to a dramatic reduction in hospital visits among its ‘socially disadvantaged’ community of approximately 30,000.

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Meanwhile, Best PCN Newcomer of the Year went to NeoHealth Primary Care Network of North Kensington.

Since its establishment in June 2019, the PCN has been praised for efforts to improve the lives of COPD patients – notably through better identification and management.

GP Team of the Year – Darwen Healthcare Team

Collaboration was in evidence across the entire primary care workforce last year, with the birth of PCNs the most obvious example. But, proving that there’s still nothing like traditional teamwork, GP Team of the Year was one of the most hotly contested categories at this year’s ceremony.

It was a good night for the winner, the Darwen Healthcare Team, with its nursing division scooping the Practice Nursing Award, while its wider PCN was also shortlisted.

The team’s quality-improvement efforts are evidenced in areas as diverse as pre-diabetes, cervical screening and stroke pathways, while it also equipped patients with greater confidence to manage their own health.

Staff member Julia Mullaney recounted that this was her first attendance at the General Practice Awards, and revealed the team’s shock at its success.

Practice Manager of the Year – Sarah Herdman

Practices are so much more than GPs alone – and would crumble without the practice managers ensuring their smooth running. This was proven by the submissions for Practice Manager of the Year, sponsored by PSUK.

While all nominees were deserving of merit, it was Sarah Herdman of west London’s Chiswick Health Practice who piped the rest to take the prize. Lauded for channelling her energies into saving 600 hours of GP time a year, Sarah embraced the trials that accompany leadership roles, collaborating with NHS Hounslow CCG at the same time as heading the practice managers’ forum in the local area.

All in all, Sarah was credited as having ‘transformed’ her practice, by driving ‘positive practice-wide change’ with a ‘determined, innovative, can-do attitude’.

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