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GP and primary care awards for best practice

23 March 2007

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To recognise outstanding efforts to improve patient care, the Improvement Foundation and the NHS Alliance have joined forces to promote innovative practice in primary care.
Winners of the Improvement Foundation’s Guy Rotherham Award and the NHS Alliance Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) Awards presented their achievements to David Colin-Thome, National Clinical Director for Primary Care, at the Palace of Westminster yesterday (Thursday 22 March).
The Improvement Foundation’s Guy Rotherham Award has two winners. Dr Neil Macey, of Stowhealth Practice, Stowmarket, explained how their new Long Term Medical Conditions Clinic has transformed services for patients and staff. Set up after consultation with both groups, the practice has reduced hospital admissions for respiratory illness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients by 60%. The team has also more than doubled the number of diabetes patients with below the recommended cholesterol levels. Moreover, the clinic has earned a 95% satisfaction rating from patients.
The second Guy Rotherham Award winner, Dr Patrick Craig-McFeely, of Hindon Surgery, Salisbury, has used the Improvement Foundation-advocated PDSA2 (Plan, Do, Study, Act) tool to develop such excellent patient services that the practice has achieved maximum QOF points for the last four years. Focusing on patient experience, Dr Craig-McFeely has built up a computerised disease register, reduced waiting times to see a GP, and improved the management of COPD. Using skills learned through the Improvement Foundation’s leadership programme, he became a QOF assessor for the primary care trust and also leads a locality group of eight practices for practice-based commissioning.
Sir John Oldham, Head of the Improvement Foundation, said: “The winners have shown that small changes in working practice can have massive benefits for patients.”
Dr Khan, of Phoenix Medical Practice, Doncaster, is a double winner of the NHS Alliance QOF Awards. His practice wins the Medicines Management category for the second year running. Every patient who receives a repeat prescription has had a medicines check in the past year. He also wins the Service Innovation for Hypertension category for improving services to patients with high blood pressure and poor drug compliance.
Dr Kumar, of Woodbank Surgery, Bury, Lancashire, won the Patient Experience Award for using the results of their Independent Patient Questionnaire (IPQ) patient feedback survey to initiate and continue a dialogue with a patient group about their services. Among other improvements suggested by patients, the surgery has set up an online appointment booking service.
Chair of the panel of judges, Dr Stewart Findlay, said: “This year’s awards are even bigger and better than last year. We have had a record number of entries in both the GP practice and primary care organisation categories. Thanks to our sponsors, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Schering Plough, CFEP UK Survey and the Improvement Foundation, we have a total of 10 winners: eight GP practices and two primary care organisations.” 
The Improvement Foundation and NHS Alliance would also like to thank the British Cardiac Society, British Cardiac Patients Association and Exeter University’s Client Focused Evaluation Programme who have worked in partnership to support and help judge the awards.