The ‘superheroes’ at Sheffield’s Birley Health Centre are celebrating a prestigious win after being named Nursing Team of the Year at the General Practice Awards.
The seven-strong team scooped the award from a shortlist of seven after a year of high achievement for the practice, with targets for cervical screening, foot checks and baby vaccinations all being ‘smashed’.
Members of the Birley team – known by the practice as the ‘superheroes’ – said they were ‘shocked’ after being announced as winners at the awards ceremony held at Novotel London West.
‘I can’t believe it,’ said Janine White. Her colleague Karen Howsham added: ‘I never expected that we would actually win. I’m surprised we even got here!’
The dedication of team leader Dawn Varney was highlighted by Ms Howsham.
‘She does singing groups for patients that are lonely and have got long-term conditions – she does it in her own time,’ she explained.
The Birley team prides itself in working ‘outside of the box’. Ms Howsham said: ‘We have a volunteer that comes in and rings the elderly up and lonely people up so that they are supported.
‘We take presents out at Christmas to elderly and vulnerable patients and we’ve done a lot of work recently on hypertension. Basically, we just try to do our best,’ she added.
Building on the team’s work, Ms Howsham said the focus this Christmas is on organising presents for local children in need. ‘We’ve done the elderly for the last three years, so this year it’s for the children,’ she said.
Looking back on the team’s achievements – which contributed to the practice’s best year in terms of the Quality of Outcomes Framework (QOF) – Ms Howden said: ‘We’re only a small team so it’s just amazing really.’
The General Practice Awards, which have been running for over 15 years – are organised by Nursing in Practice publisher Cogora. In all, 21 trophies were awarded on the night, including for GP of the Year and PCN of the Year.
Rebecca Jolliffe, events director at Cogora, said: ‘The General Practice Awards have highlighted the very best examples of success from across primary and community care, recognising projects, individuals and teams who have gone above and beyond to improve healthcare provision in their area.
‘From those delivering frontline clinical care to administrative and support staff, commissioners and suppliers, we are constantly impressed by the commitment and innovation seen across the UK,’ she added.