Telford srugery wins national award

Sue Bates, from the Sutton Hill Medical Centre in Telford, has beaten off stiff competition from all over the UK to be crowned winner of the 2007 National Practice Manager of the Year Awards - sponsored by Williams Medical Supplies and the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC).

Mrs. Bates, who has been a practice manager for 22 years, received her trophy at a ceremony in London, from Andy Burnham MP, Minister of State for Delivery & Reform.

Mr.Burnham paid tribute to the role practice managers play in national healthcare.

'I believe that it's really important to recognise and celebrate the hard work of people working at every level in the NHS. Practice managers work behind the scenes, carrying out an absolutely vital role in keeping the show on the road,' he said.

Chairman of the independent judging panel, healthcare commentator and broadcaster, Roy Lilley, described Mrs Bates as a hugely influential manager.

'She is an immensely capable leader; with determination and compassion she has achieved a huge amount in a deprived area.'

The surgery - which has a high proportion of young people on its books - was among the first to implement advanced access and ‘choose and book', and has achieved  Investors in People accreditation.

Mrs Bates says that the secret to running a successful surgery is to treat everyone as an individual.

'We work as a team and treat every patient that comes through the door the same," she explains. "We respect them, and expect them to respect us in return. It's the same with staff, we recognise that everyone's role is equally important.'

Janet Crisp, the surgery's Primary Care Development Manager, nominated Sue Bates for the award, saying.

'Sue is a shining light, and the practice is always spot-on. She's an excellent role model for other practice managers entering the profession. She strives to make every staff member feel valued, and to give us all a sense of ownership of the operation, which is a key factor in keeping everyone enthusiastic and motivated.'

Mrs. Bates has been married for 40 years, and has a daughter, son, and one grandson.

She wins a 15-night Caribbean cruise with P&O, and an engraved crystal trophy.

The runner-up prize went to Caroline Kerby, from Brentfield Medical Centre in London.

Ms Kerby  has managed the centre for seven years.

'We're in one of the most deprived areas of one of the most diverse parts of the country, so it's a very interesting area to work in,' she explains.  'The health problems we're dealing with every day are huge.'

'We have 9600 patients, with quite a high proportion of young people   - our baby clinics are massive, and it's always a hive of activity in the waiting room.  We are working with the doctors to develop a multidisciplinary team so that we can meet patients' needs."

Roy Lilley describes Ms Kerby as 'a determined manager working in a tough area, who manages to make the most of every opportunity.'

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