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Fabulous' awards night celebrates general practice success

More than 450 healthcare professionals paid tribute to the hard work, innovation and dedication of GP surgery teams across the UK at the inaugural General Practice Awards 2011 on 16 November, held at the luxury Lancaster London hotel in the capital.

Winners of the 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.

Valerie Denton, named 'Practice Manager of the Year', an award sponsored by Williams Medical Supplies, said she was "gobsmacked" to become a triple winner – her surgery was also jointly named 'General Practice of the Year', sponsored by RPM Solutions, and, together with three other finalists (see winners page), she received a £2,500 bursary from consultants BMI Healthcare to spend on services.

"The night was fabulous," said Denton. "To me it was just like the Oscars. It was lovely and we met so many interesting people. These awards have just completely reinvigorated us. It's reminded us why we work so hard and why we work the long hours we do."

Another multiple winner was Diane Singleton from Liverpool, who won the 'Nurse of the Year' award and 'Clinical Team of the Year Award' for a community health project – called the Liveability Service – she designed and led herself, which focuses on maintaining older people's health and independence through early targeted prevention. Singleton said she was "on cloud nine" to win the award.

Dr Keith McCollum from Armagh in Northern Ireland was the winner of the 'GP of the Year' award. His surgery designed a new streamlined care pathway for diabetic patients. "At times innovation isn't really reflected upon within primary care, so it's nice to get an award that validates the work we've been doing. It's given everyone a real boost," Dr McCollum said.

The ceremony was hosted by TV personality Dr 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.

We would like to thank all who attended the General Practice Awards 2011 and to the sponsors for making this special night possible. To see pictures of the evening, click on the 'Gallery' link on the left.

Click on the below links to read the awards news stories from Management in Practice, Nursing in Practice and GP Business:

Practice Manager of the Year 'gobsmacked'

Nurse of the Year 'honoured' to be triple winner

GP of the Year recognition for diabetes care

Interested in nominating for the 2012 General Practice Awards? Click here.

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