The very first NHS awards to celebrate the dedication and achievements of nurses working in general practice were held on Thursday 15th February.
This prestigious event honoured individuals and teams from across Greater Manchester that have worked to ensure the very best care for patients. The awards follow a call for nominations in the autumn with peers, public, and patients all invited to shine a spotlight on practice nurses who have gone above and beyond.
The awards help to support the aims of the national 10 point action plan for general practice nursing by celebrating and raising the profile of this vital primary care role, promoting general practice nursing as a first destination NHS career. ‘General Practice – Developing Confidence, Capability, and Capacity’ sets out how a national investment of £15 million will help to develop and upskill the primary care nursing workforce.
Margaret Kitching, NHS England Chief Nurse for the North, said: “The awards are a great opportunity to share best practice and recognise the contribution of nurses working at the frontline of community healthcare. Celebrating the important role of the practice nurse is an essential part of our national plans to boost primary care and ensure it is fit for the future.”
Tina Long, Chief Nurse for Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “General practice nurses play a vital role in Greater Manchester’s health service. They are the first point of contact for many patients and undertake 70% of care for those with long term conditions. However, all too often they are the unsung heroes of primary care and we wanted to change that.”
Anita Rolfe, Executive Nurse at NHS Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group and Chair of the Greater Manchester Practice Nurse Forum, went on to say that: “In Greater Manchester, this important role extends beyond day to day patient care with practice nurses working to transform primary care as part of widespread changes following the devolution of health and social care in our region. Our General Practice Nursing Awards are a great way to recognise this contribution.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “These awards are another exciting first for Greater Manchester. At the event I heard some really inspiring stories of how practice nurses are working tirelessly to deliver the best patient care, whilst breaking down the traditional boundaries between health and social care and leading on new, innovative ways of doing things.”
Devolution has seen practice nurses leading on the development of social prescribing, which allows patients to be referred to a range of locally based, non-clinical sources of support such as walking groups or befriending activities. Stockport’s Alvanley Practice in particular has spearheaded this work, winning the award for Practice Nursing Team of the Year. Greater Manchester practice nurses were also among the first in the country to trial new group consultations for patients with long term conditions, allowing more time to discuss their concerns as well as offering peer to peer support. The Transforming Services Award highlighted the efforts of individuals and teams to bring about significant change to primary care in every single area of Greater Manchester.
To see more photos of the event, visit the Partnership’s Flickr page.