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Nurse of the Year announced at GP Awards 2015

Heather Lomas, from West Wirral Group Practice, was awarded Nurse of the Year at the General Practice Awards in London last night, for her work on falls prevention for older people.

In Wirral, the practice had a high admission rate for elderly patients. The practice studied available data and noted that a large number of these admissions were due to patients falling. This has been a problem for many years.

The practice submitted a bid under the local “Invest to Save proposal” (from Wirral Primary Care Trust in 2013) and was successful. Therefore the practice employed a part-time nurse to carry out home visits for patients aged 65+ recorded as housebound or as having fallen in the last two years, including residents of care homes.

Lomas adapted a falls risk assessment tool that the home visit nurse used to identify avoidable risk factors and refer patients to appropriate services when required.

On the night Lomas recommended that in order to improve practice nurses shouldn't “be afraid to ask for things, I've suggested things in the practice and got it approved, take the bull by the horns and believe in what you're doing. You are a good professional and don't belittle yourself.”

Other winners from the awards at the Lancaster Hotel yesterday included GP of the Year Dr Yassir Javaid for his work reducing stroke emergency admissions in the East Midlands, and Practice Manager of the Year was Muhammad Ahmed from Teehey Lane Medical Centre in Wirral.

Other winners were:

·      Nursing Team of the Year - Cuckoo Lane Health Care APMS, Leadership, Patient and Community Engagement, Holistic Care to patient - Julie Belton.

·      Commissioner of the Year - Malnutrition Primary Care Project - Gwyn Harris

·      Communications Provider of the year - Opus Healthcare Communications

·      Innovators of the Year - Bevan Healthcare Outreach Services - Gina Rowlands

·      Clinical Team of the Year for Long Term Conditions - For their work on pharmacists taking on some of GPs' caseload - Germaine Swarbrick