National recognition for primary care at London awards ceremony

18th December 2023

Primary care in Norfolk and Waveney scooped two prestigious national awards earlier this month at the annual General Practice Awards held in London on Friday 8th December.

The Vulnerable Adult Service (VAS), which was previously run by OneNorwich Practices, achieved first place in the Clinical Improvement – Public Health & Prevention category, while Caitlin Clarke won the accolade of Practice Manager for her role as business manager at the Beaches Medical Centre in Great Yarmouth.

Clinical Improvement – Public Health & Prevention

The award for the VAS in the Clinical Improvement – Public Health & Prevention category was an incredible recognition for the hardworking team that provides care for some of Norwich’s most vulnerable residents.

The award seeks to recognise an individual or team who have demonstrated excellence when working to improve healthcare in their local area; raising awareness, encouraging engagement, and ensuring the wellbeing of a local population. The VAS team was recognised for their holistic care and support in addressing the health needs of vulnerable adults, most underserved in Norwich, including those experiencing homelessness, asylum seekers and refugees.

The inspiring and committed team go over and above to outreach to communities to connect and provide holistic care, improving their trust of services and uptake of health care, health screening and access to both physical and mental health care services.

It gives recognition to the integration of the asylum seeker health team, clinical support workers and clinical team who work collaboratively with substance misuse services, adult social care, people from abroad team and public health.

Tracy Williams, VAS clinical lead and Clinical Lead for Health Inequalities for NHS Norfolk & Waveney said: “This award means such a lot for the team and to be recognised for all they do. They continue to go above and beyond by supporting our most vulnerable underserved communities.”

Also commenting on the achievement, Emma Bugg, Associate Director of Primary Care Network Development said: “We are delighted that this holistic service has gained such recognition for the flexible and adaptive approach the team take to seeking better outcomes for some of the most vulnerable people in Norwich.

“The team work closely with other partners to address the wider social and environmental factors that can very often impact on the health of a person. Many congratulations to all involved.”

Practice Manager of the Year

Meanwhile, Caitlin Clarke was awarded Practice Manager of the Year for her range of innovations to improve patient access to care, the introduction of new services to enhance patient care, and new services to support the health, wellbeing, and resilience of Beaches Medical Centre staff.

Mrs Clarke, who has since moved on to new roles, was also recognised by the judges for overhauling the practice’s appointment system which led to better access to appointments for patients and a reduction in the ‘did not attend’ rate from 12% to 9%. Her efforts also resulted in the telephone queue decreasing from an average of 30 minutes to 4 minutes.

Responding to her award, Mrs Clarke, Business Manager at Castle Partnership and Managing Partner at Fleggburgh Surgery, said “I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the award.

“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. Thank you to the wonderful colleagues I’ve worked alongside over the past five years who have inspired, supported and stood by me.”