More than 450 healthcare professionals paid tribute to the hard work, innovation and dedication of GP surgery teams across the UK at a glittering awards ceremony in London last night (16 November).
Winners of the inaugural General Practice Awards – organised by Campden Media, which publishes Management in Practice, GP Business and Nursing in Practice – spoke of their delight at being recognised for their outstanding achievements.
Tudor Lodge Surgery in Weston Super Mare and Wilson Health Centre in Surrey were named joint winners of the 'General Practice of the Year' award, sponsored by RPM Solutions, after judges announced the standard of both practices was so high they could not name a single winner.
Valerie Denton, Practice Manager of Tudor Lodge Surgery, was "overwhelmed" to become a triple winner after being named 'Practice Manager of the Year' and being awarded a £2,500 bursary from healthcare consultants BMI to spend on her practice.
Other winners included Dr Keith McCollum, named 'GP of the Year', Diane Singleton, who won the 'Nurse of the Year' Award, and a GP-based cardiology team in Bexley, southeast London, led by Dr Kosta Manis, who were named 'Commissioners of the Year'.
The ceremony (pictured), held at the luxury Lancaster London Hotel, was hosted by TV personality Phil Hammond, a GP and comedian who brought an irreverent humour to proceedings with jokes about NHS reform in England.
Dr Hammond said the government's controversial NHS reforms were nothing new. "The Health and Social Care Bill has been described as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he joked. "But we've been told about three once-in-a-lifetime opportunities in the last 12 years.
"Either someone's not telling the truth or life expectancy is getting much shorter."
Dr Hammond, who recently jousted with Health Secretary Andrew Lansley on the BBC's Question Time, went on to describe the Health Bill as "unintelligible". He told guests it was frontline healthcare staff, and not structural reform or top-down demands, that "really make a difference" to patient care.
Did you join us at the General Practice Awards 2011? Tell us the highlights of your evening. Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"Being able to meet and share ideas with other high level professionals in all walks of health care. Impressive evening overall" – Vivienne Lowe, Bury