A practice nurse from Lancashire has received the Practice Nursing Award in honours that celebrate excellence in primary care.
Maggi Bradley won the award against stiff competition in the 13th annual General Practice Awards, run by Nursing in Practice publisher Cogora, which recognises the remarkable work carried out by Britain’s primary care professionals.
Ms Bradley, who is also a nursing clinical lead at Sefton Training Hub and a Queen’s Nurse, was nominated in part for setting up video group clinics (VCGs) after noticing patients ‘were beginning to manifest feelings of isolation, fear and anxiety’ during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The nomination continued: ‘The peer-group setting enabled patients to talk with, and learn from, others at different stages of the same journey. There was a sense of ‘belonging’ and participants made friends and established their own support networks.
‘Despite the stresses of the pandemic, there were smiles, laughs and fun. Feelings of isolation were greatly reduced – particularly when regular sessions were introduced.’
The group setting enabled patients to talk with and learn from others at different stages of the same conditions. One cancer patient said of the service: “Talking to others who are going through similar journeys can be really helpful. And it’s fun”.
The regular sessions also allowed Ms Bradley to ‘use her time more efficiently and effectively’ because she consulted groups rather than individuals, it said.
Ms Bradley is now a regular speaker and visiting expert for those interested in VCGs, advocates for VCGs across the UK, and is working with universities to advocate for digital ways of working.
Responding to her win, Ms Bradley said: ‘At first during Covid we weren’t seeing anybody and extending group consultations for patients seemed a good idea. New ways of working seemed the only way at that time, but we’ve connected so many people through working like this.
‘It was thinking outside the box about how to see patients, and it’s just been phenomenal. I bought the student nurses with me too – showing the next generation that in primary care we could adapt to the changes and the challenges out there as much as secondary care.’
Other award winners included:
- Covid Protect, Norfolk and Waveney for GP Team of the Year
- Newton Medical Centre, SSP Health for the Clinical Improvement Award: Chronic Conditions
- Ansh Pal Singh, Lynwood Medical Centre for the Clinical Improvement Award: Mental Health
- Dr Maggie Kirk and the HealthBus Team for the Clinical Improvement Award: Public Health & Prevention
In 2020, the University Health Service Nursing Team in Sheffield won the Practice Nursing Award for being proactive, innovative, open to change and putting the patient at the heart of all they do.