GP in flood-hit Cumbria up for award

A GP who played a crucial role in maintaining health services during last year's Cumbrian floods has reached the finals of the NHS Leadership Awards.

Dr Howarth: Key resources are the people in the community and your team
Dr Howarth: Key resources are the people in the community and your team

Dr John Howarth is one of the three finalists in the newcomer category of the awards.

The floods in Cockermouth destroyed the town’s two GP surgeries, which served 15,000 patients. Dr Howarth helped relocate the town’s GP services to Cockermouth’s community hospital. Temporary buildings were erected and special flu vaccine clinics were set up.

Dr Howarth was able to call on his experience in emergency situations: in the 1990s, he worked in 11 different conflicts and natural disasters.

Dr Howarth said: ‘The key resources you have in any disaster are the people in the community and your team.

‘In responding to the floods of last year, we were blessed in having some very dedicated GPs community nurses and other NHS staff.’

He added: ‘Most importantly, the town itself rose up to help one another. People showed remarkable fortitude and an unbending community spirit.

The winner of the awards will be announced on 8 December.

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