Nelson GP practice earns quality award

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NELSON GP practice Whitefield Health Care has been awarded the Royal College of General Practitioners’ prestigious Quality Practice Award.

The practice hosted a celebratory event at Ewood Park, Blackburn, where the award was presented. Over 100 people attended the evening including doctors, patients, practice staff and managers from NHS East Lancashire.

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The Quality Practice Award is a rigorous process undertaken by GP practices. It assesses the quality of their practice and takes two years to achieve. The award recognises a high standard of quality patient care delivered by every member of the practice team. Out of 8,500 GP practices in England, only 200 have managed to secure the award.

Dr Aziz Khan, who founded the practice 40 years ago, said: “I was thrilled and excited when we were told we had got the Quality Practice Award. It is such a great honour. I’m really proud of all the staff who have worked so hard but it wouldn’t have happened without the vision and driving force of my business manager Nigat Sultana who has worked in my practice since she was 16.”

Praise from fellow GPs was abundant. Dr Mike Ions, GP at Pendle View Medical Centre, Brierfield, and chairman of NHS East Lancashire’s Professional Executive Committee, said: “I have been a GP in the area for 30 years and Dr Khan’s practice has always had a fantastic reputation. It is wonderful to see formal recognition of that; they have shown how it should be done.”

Dr Fiona Ford, GP and senior lecturer in East Lancashire, presented practice staff with their individual awards while RCGP faculty member and GP at Pendle View Medical Centre Dr David Webborn presented the QPA on behalf of the college to Dr Khan. He said: “The award looks at how care is provided; it is about the frontline experience of patients, and how we deliver care to them. My experience of dealing with the practice is one of efficiency and organisation.

“The Royal College was really impressed with the team from Whitefield. They deliver what I believe is an excellent model of care and one we believe others can learn from. The plan is that they will now go on to support other GP practices in the area reach the high standards they have now set.”

Whitefield Health Care is made up of two partners and two locum doctors, as well as nursing and administrative staff. Although a small practice, it is a very busy and demanding practice with a patient list of just under 4,000.

Dr Khan said: “As well as being a wonderful reward and morale booster for our staff, this award is great news for our patients who remain our greatest priority.

“I am also delighted to announce Nigat is a finalist for the coveted title of ‘Practice Manager of the Year’ at this year’s General Practice Awards and the practice as ‘GP Practice of the Year’. Fingers crossed we will have further success.”

Winners will be announced in a ceremony in November in London.