GP practice manager in the nation’s top 20

CREDIT: This story was first seen in the Totnes Times

The woman who runs a huge South Hams GP practice has been rated among the top 20 most inspiring managers in England, the Totnes Times reports.

Practice manager Claire Oatway, of Beacon Medical Group, was recognised by the Management in Practice journal. Drawing up the list for the first time, the publication said it “delved behind the scenes to uncover the people who are going the extra mile”. Claire came in at number 16.

Beacon, which has surgeries in Station Road in Ivybridge and Wotter, as well as three in Plympton, is a “super-practice” caring for 33,000 patients.

Claire has involved the practice with partners such as Devon Partnership NHS Trust, which provides a wide range of NHS services to people with mental health and learning disability needs.

This collaboration resulted in the funding of a psychiatric liaison professional at the practice, to help provide additional support for people with mental health needs.

Claire said: “It’s a huge honour to be included in the list, especially as we’ve only existed as Beacon for three years. General practice is one of the most satisfying environments I’ve worked in.

“Every single day I feel like we’re making a difference – even if sometimes it’s just a small one.

“In the past three years, we’ve changed so much and grown – bringing in new services, opening up even more access for patients, and working more with our community than ever before.

“To be in the top 20 is a great validation of the work we’ve been doing together as a practice, and with our partners and patients.”

Health commissioners say the majority of GP practices in Devon are higher than the national average for positive patient experience. Most have a ‘good’ rating from the Care Quality Commission, with some rated as ‘outstanding’.

Dr Nick Roberts, chief officer for South Devon and Torbay and Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “We are very proud of the work our practice managers do across Devon, and to have Claire in the top 20 nationally is testament to her tireless enthusiasm for patients’ care.

“She is a reflection of all the good work going on in practices across the county.

“GP practices are facing many challenges today, and with professionals such as Claire on the frontline, constantly coming up with new and better ways of dealing with these challenges, I feel Devon general practice is in very safe hands.”

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