Norfolk-based business manager Caitlin Clarke has won the accolade of Practice Manager of the Year 2023 at this year’s General Practice Awards.
Mrs Clarke, who is now business manager at Castle Partnership, Norwich and managing partner at Fleggburgh Surgery in Great Yarmouth, beat off stiff competition from six other finalists.
She was presented with a trophy at a gala dinner and ceremony attended by more than 500 guests from across primary care and the community, held last Friday in London, and hosted by comedian and actor Miles Jupp.
A panel of four judges chose Mrs Clarke as winner of the award, which was sponsored by X-on Health, for achievements in her previous role as business manager at the Beaches Medical Centre also in Great Yarmouth.
‘I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the award,’ she told Management in Practice.
‘I absolutely love my job and I want other people that I work with to love their jobs – that is what is important to me.’
Mrs Clarke added: ‘Thank you to the wonderful colleagues I’ve worked alongside over the past five years who have inspired, supported and stood by me.
‘I am genuinely very proud of what I have achieved to date and am excited for the future with Castle Partnership and Fleggburgh Surgery and the wonderful teams at both.’
Mrs Clarke had been responsible for overhauling the appointment system at the Beaches and introducing an urgent care team model that utilised the skills of a multi-disciplinary team for signposting, support and supervision.
A particular success of the new system saw telephone queues reduce from 30 minutes to four minutes. Staff wellbeing also improved due to her efforts, including the introduction of a free staff gym. And a new approach to recruitment, offering flexible working and protected learning time, boosted staff hiring so the surgery became less reliant on GP locums.
Other winners named at the prestigious General Practice Awards included Reception Team of the Year, which went to Richmond Road Medical Centre Reception Team. It was described as playing a
a pivotal role in transforming the practice into a centre of health, wellbeing, opportunity and belonging for patients.
GP Team of the Year was won by Urban Village Medical Practice, Manchester, which provides specialist care to 1,000 people in the city who are experiencing homelessness.
General Practitioner of the Year was scooped by Dr Mohammed Jiva MBE, who is also CEO of Rochdale and Bury Local Medical Committee, and PCN of the Year went to Cheltenham Central PCN.
Gemma Collins, Group Editor at Cogora, said this year the awards, which had 19 categories in total, received a huge number of entries.
‘I want to congratulate all the finalists. You should all feel extremely proud to have reached this stage. Everyone is working in unison with one united aim – to deliver the best care possible for their patients.’
The other finalists in this year’s Practice Manager of the Year award were Spencer Casey, business and strategic manager, Probus Surgery, Truro; Dee Chennenahalli, managing partner/practice manager, Pinfold Medical Practice, County Durham; Lesley Hyde, practice manager, The Arch Medical Practice, Manchester; Rachael Lankshear, practice manager, Brunel Medical Practice, Torquay; Brenda Nasr, practice manager, Earle Road Medical Centre, Liverpool; and Colette Shipley, practice business manager, Newlands Medical Centre, Middlesbrough.