Two Northumbria Primary Care (NPC) nurses have been crowned ‘angels of the north’ at the inaugural General Practice Nursing Awards.
Margaret Wootton and Catriona Wilkinson were both winners, with Margaret winning the ‘rising star’ award and Catriona taking home the award for ‘outstanding leadership’.
Margaret, who qualified as a nurse in 2000 and is now a practice nurse at Haydon Bridge & Allendale surgery, was awarded the ‘rising star’ honour for her enthusiasm and commitment to developing her knowledge and skills, with colleagues in the practice praising Margaret’s work improving patient services, satisfaction and experience within the practice.
She said: “I’m really proud to have won this award and would like to thank my colleagues for all the support they’ve given me to help me develop and progress.
“It is a pleasure doing my job and I love being able to support people in the community.
“To receive such great feedback and the award is absolutely fantastic and a real bonus.”
Catriona qualified as a nurse in 2002 and worked in emergency care before training to become an emergency nurse practitioner. She moved into primary care nursing in March 2017 and now works as a nurse practitioner at Ponteland Medical Group.
She demonstrated her outstanding leadership skills when designing and implementing an acute telephone triage system, which resulted in GP on the day workload being reduced and allocated to more complex long term care delivery.
On winning the award, Catriona said: “Working in primary care presents a whole raft of different challenges and I have really enjoyed bringing my skills and knowledge to a different health setting.
“Winning this award is a team effort and I wouldn’t have been able to win without the help and support of the team in the practice.”
Julie Danskin, managing director of NPC, added: “I’m delighted that Margaret and Catriona have been recognised with these awards, which is an example of the high quality talent we have throughout our practices.
“They are both forward thinking members of our team who have affected real change to how we care for our patients. This is a real testament to their own individual efforts and the culture of innovation that the team as a whole embraces.”
Maria Towart, chief matron at Northumbria Primary Care, said: “To say I am proud of them both would be a serious understatement – these awards recognise years of hard work and a ceaseless commitment to making sure our patients get the best care.
“They are an asset to their practices and to the whole NPC team.”
Elsdon Avenue Surgery in Seaton Delaval has become the seventh in the North East to join Northumbria Primary Care (NPC); a pioneering partnership between Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and local GPs.
The practice, which was rated ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission in 2017, has around 3,700 patients and three GP partners as well as a full nursing and administration team.
Dr Karen Finch, one of the GP partners at Elsdon Avenue Surgery, said: “We’re very proud of the first-class service we provide and of what our team have achieved to date.
“As a small practice we are able to offer an intimate, personalised service to our patients and that won’t change. However, we recognise that, in order to sustain both our unique ethos and the need to provide the best care to our patients, we must be innovative.
“The business support we will receive from joining Northumbria Primary Care will enable my colleagues and I to really focus our time and expertise where it matters most – providing and developing high quality clinical services for our patients – while maintaining overall control of the practice.
“Being part of a larger organisation will also enable us to draw on more resources and our patients will be able to benefit from a wider pool of clinical staff in the future.
“We’re hugely looking forward to this new chapter for the practice.”
Julie Danskin, managing director of NPC, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Elsdon to the NPC family and look forward to working with Drs Karen Finch, Kathleen Mackie, Lucy Fisher and their team as they continue to deliver the personal care which is their hallmark.
“Running a GP practice is resource intensive in today’s NHS. We hope that by providing many of the professional support functions which are needed to deliver an effective service, it will help ease this burden and let them get on with what they do best.”
Set up in 2015 thanks to years of successful partnership working between Northumbria Healthcare and local GPs, NPC now manages seven GP practices with more than 40,000 registered patients in Northumberland and North Tyneside. It provides everyday support to deliver corporate functions, enabling family doctors to focus on providing care to patients.