Winners Announced for GPBuddy.ie National GP Awards 2018

Healthcare professionals from all over the country were honoured at the third GPBuddy.ie National GP Awards in association with Affidea, at a glittering awards ceremony in Dublin. 

General practitioners and healthcare professionals were presented with awards across 11 categories by television personality, Dr Pixie McKenna. A further 21 nominees were commended for their contributions to healthcare across the country.

The annual GPBuddy.ie National GP Awards recognise excellence, innovation and collaboration amongst GPs, hospitals and healthcare professionals all over Ireland. This year, over 200 nominations were received from all over the country across all 11 categories, from both healthcare professionals and patients.

Dr Shane McKeogh of GPBuddy.ie said: “The quality of the nominations for the Awards this year was truly outstanding. We are all familiar with the pressure the healthcare sector is under and, in particular, GPs who are the cornerstone of family healthcare. These awards are about stopping and taking some time to appreciate the positive work that has been done to improve healthcare for patients, and the achievements of general practitioners and primary care teams in general across the country.”

Barry Downes, Country Manager at Affidea Ireland and a member of the judging panel, said: “The high level of excellence in General Practice and the stories of GP care that go above and beyond the call of duty, as documented by the patients themselves, gets better every year. Congratulations to all the winners, and the hard working and dedicated leaders in their fields who were nominated, which is a testament in itself.”

The Winners of the GPBuddy.ie National GP Awards 2018 are:

1. GP TRAINEE OF THE YEAR

Dr Ahmeda Ali – North-Eastern GP Training Scheme

GP Trainee, Dr Ali was presented with this award for her significant contribution to General Practice.

Dr Ahmeda Ali has been reported by one of her nominators as ‘encompassing everything that gives hope for the future of not only General Practice but Irish medicine in general.’

Dr Ali has an admirable work ethic and carries out her duties with compassion and good humour. She is a strong advocate for her patients and is committed to furthering her education and improving the quality of healthcare for her own patients and for the wider community.

Dr Ali has completed a Masters in Trauma Science. She is a member of several ICGP committees as well as WONCA. Dr Ali also works in a voluntary capacity with many charities including the Cavan Alzheimer’s Society, ‘Save our Sons and Daughters’ mental health charity and the St George Thomas Hospice.

In the words of one of her nominators, Dr Ali’s “attitude for carrying out research and for involving others in same is contagious.”

2. ESTABLISHING GP OF THE YEAR

Dr Anna Foy and Dr Peter Kelly – Greystones Family Doctors

This Awards recognises a GP/s in the early stages of his or her career who has demonstrated leadership and / or innovation in General Practice.

Dr Anna Foy and Dr Peter Kelly are both undergraduates of UCD Medical School and the Trinity College GP Training Scheme. Anna graduated from Trinity in 2015 and Peter in 2016.

Only four months after the arrival of Anna’s first child, herself and Peter established Greystones Family Doctors in Greystones, Co Wicklow.

Despite opening with NO medical card list, the practice has grown considerably and is now thriving after only a year. The Practice is fully integrated in the local community and manages the health needs of the residents of the local nursing home.

Drs Foy and Kelly’s success demonstrates the role that innovative GPs with entrepreneurial spirit can play in advancing General Practice in today’s health service. They were noted as an inspiration by nominators for their ambition and hard work. Anna is an example to other young female GPs – she shows that it is possible to create a new and dynamic practice on your own terms, whilst also maintaining a family friendly, work-life balance.

3. PRACTICE MANAGER OF THE YEAR

Georgie Sliney McCormack – Calderwood Family Clinic

This Award recognises a practice team member who has improved a practice’s performance and patient experience.

In the words of her nominator, Georgie ‘is the centre of the Practice. She is the most resourceful person I have worked with. She is very solution focused. She deals with staff in a very fair and pragmatic way. She takes care of all the parts of running a general practice leaving the doctors to see patients. She loves a challenge and is never afraid to take on anything new”

Georgie has been committed to furthering her skills and knowledge in General Practice Management since she started working with the Calderwood Family Clinic six years ago. Georgie has completed the ICGP practice staff and management courses and has recently been accepted on a Leadership in Healthcare Masters in the RCSI.

Georgie has been integral in growing the Calderwood Family Clinic from a one-doctor practice into a three-doctor teaching practice. She now gives talks to registrars on financial health and has helped to set up a mindfulness programme for staff and patients.

Georgie’s nominator notes that her most recent achievement was getting the practice GDPR ready which she says, wouldn’t have happened without her!

4. PRACTICE NURSE OF THE YEAR

Eilish O’Sullivan – Riverside Medical Centre

This Award recognises a Practice Nurse who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her General Practice and / or Community. In the words of her nominator, Eilish is ‘one in a million.’

Previously a midwife in the Coombe, Eilish has worked as a practice nurse for almost 30 years. It is Eilish’s intuition, experience, energy and enthusiasm that make her such an asset to her practice. She is described as always calm in a crisis and is an expert in picking up patients’ concerns such as those of vulnerable new mothers.

Together with her colleague Helen, Eilish has expanded the Practice Nurse role to take ownership of many areas of the practice. This has made a significant impact on the workload of the GPs at the practice.

Patients love Eilish and she makes sure that they feel understood. She treats patients with compassion while at the same time following up with them to ensure no stone is unturned.

In the words of her nominator: ‘Our practice is incredibly fortunate to have such an excellent nurse with a passion for nursing and providing care in the community.

5. GP TRAINER OF THE YEAR

Dr Jack Keane – Seaholm Surgery, Skerries, Co Dublin

This Award recognises an inspirational GP who is recognised by their trainees as providing invaluable leadership and direction.

In the words of his nominator, Jack has ‘been a mentor, trainer and a friend. He has been supportive, kind and considerate at all times and has gone beyond what would be expected from any trainer.’

Jack has been nominated for his actions in guiding his trainees through their first years of working in practice. He is always available to the community, carrying out his work fairly and in good humour. He is described as creating a positive energy around himself, which radiates out to staff and patients.

Jack is reported as leading by example. He provides direction to trainees in the practice and also guidance in how to protect themselves from the stress and risk of burnout that is so often associated with our roles as GPs.

Jack encourages his team and his trainees to take time out for themselves during the day – for a walk, a run or even a paddle out at sea.  He is an avid watersport fan, and is often found out on his lunch breaks taking his rib-boat for a spin with staff on board or paddle-boarding around the harbour for an hour, back in time for afternoon surgery. He also plays the drums in a local band, and can be found heading up a music session in a local bar on a Friday night.

6. BEST GP AND HOSPITAL COLLABORATION

GP Dermatology Top Ten – Dr Rosalind Hughes, Consultant Dermatologist and Dr Roisin Hambly, Specialist Registrar, St Vincent’s University Hospital.

This Award recognises a GP and Hospital initiative that has improved services, access and communication in primary care.

GP Dermatology Top Ten is an educational initiative run by Dr. Rosalind Hughes with Dr Roisin Hambly at the Department of Dermatology at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin.

80% of dermatology presentations in primary care are due to the ‘top ten’ common conditions.  The GP Dermatology Top Ten initiative is a series of live interactive webinars delivered by consultants and specialist registrars that aim to assist GPs in diagnosing these common conditions in practice.  The aim is to alleviate the pressure on dermatology departments by enabling these conditions to be treated in primary care.

7. INNOVATION IN PRACTICE

SNAP GP – Dr Tommy Lynch

This Award recognises a practice that can demonstrate innovation in primary care at a practice, local or national level.

Snap GP is an easy to use iPhone clinical imaging app for GPs.

Snap GP allows patient images to be securely transferred over an encrypted connection from an iPhone directly to the GP’s desktop without the risk of data corruption whilst at the same time, protecting patient privacy.

The app documents the patient’s consent using their finger to sign the screen which is embedded on the image and the images are removed from the phone and server immediately once the transfer to the desktop is complete.

8. SAFETY IN PRACTICE

ATRIAL FIBRILLATION AND STROKE: ABCD OF AF-STROKE PREVENTION IN GP – Dr Diarmuid Quinlan

This Award recognises an initiative, project or audit that demonstrably improves patient or staff safety in practice.

Stroke is Ireland’s third killer (after heart disease and cancer). Atrial Fibrillation or AF is a common condition that affects approximately 1.9% of the population and causes 20-30% of strokes.

Opportunistic screening increases AF detection. The AF screening device ‘Alive-Cor’ is FDA validated, specific, sensitive and superior to any other method. ABCD of AF-stroke prevention is a patient-centred sustainable approach to reduce frequency and severity of AF-Stroke.

9. RURAL PRACTICE OF THE YEAR

Buttevant Medical Centre, Buttevant, Co. Cork – Dr Michael Kennedy

This Award recognises a practice in a rural area that demonstrates excellence in patient care, for isolated patients in particular.

Formerly known as The Old School House Surgery, The Buttevant Medical Centre was originally established in 1967 by Dr Finbarr Kennedy and Practice Nurse Manager, Mary Kennedy. In 1998, together with their son, Dr Michael Kennedy, they bought the old boys national school and converted it into what it is today – a high-quality modern medical centre.

Dr Michael Kennedy is now the principal GP at the practice working alongside Dr Elizabeth Brosnan, Practice Nurse, Mary Riordan and Practice Administrators, Liz Hynes and Eileen Palmer.

The nominator notes that working as a rural GP is an enormous privilege, noting that this practice enabled them to create strong relationships with their patients while becoming part of a welcoming community.

Dr. Kennedy was described as a superb trainer and a constant source of advice. Dr. Brosnan was noted for her advocacy on behalf of her patients, stopping at nothing to achieve the best care for them.  Nurse Mary is a great source of knowledge, while Eileen and Liz at reception were noted to be the backbone of the practice, “running a tight ship whilst protecting the doctors and the patients at the same time.”

10. PATIENTS’ CHOICE AWARD

Dr Eileen O’Connor, Louisburgh Medical Practice, Co Mayo

This Award is voted for by patients. It goes to a GP who is recognised by his or her patients as having a noteworthy positive impact on patient experience.

Dr O’Connor receives this award in recognition of her hard work and dedication to her patients and community.

From reading the nominations we received for Dr O’Connor, it is clear that she has a very close but yet professional relationship with her patients with many of them attributing their life saving treatment to her. She is reported as ‘caring, approachable and professional’ by many.

Dr O’Connor and her consultations have been described by her nominators as:

  • ‘Being confident and thorough.’
  • ‘Both calm and welcoming.’
  • ‘Very honest to talk to.’
  • ‘She takes the time to explain and clarify concerns.’
  • ‘‘She is professional and dedicated to her patients and her work.’
  • ‘It’s lovely to walk into a friendly face.’

11. GP OF THE YEAR

Dr John Latham, Latham Medical Centre, Dublin 8

This Award, nominated by GP peers, recognises a GP who embodies the highest principles of the profession and demonstrates leadership and excellence in patient care. 

Dr John Latham has dedicated the last 35 years of his life working in The Liberties area of South Inner City, Dublin.

All who come into contact with John are infected by his contagious enthusiasm for General Practice. One of his nominators notes that there have been many medical students who have started their rotation to the practice expressing a wish to be a surgeon or a hospital specialist at the beginning of their rotation but leave with aspirations to become a GP, such is the effect that John has.

As well as working as a GP, John is a teacher and a mentor. He has roles as an undergraduate tutor for RCSI and Trinity, he is a GP trainer on the UCD training scheme and is an Assistant Programme Director on the North-Dublin City GP training scheme.

John is well known by the wider GP community through his regular column “Latham at Large” in FORUM magazine, through which he has regaled us with colourful reflections from General Practice for the past 20 years.

In the words of one of his nominators, John ‘has worked tirelessly to better the inclusion and access to healthcare for those in marginalised groups. His doors have never been closed to new patients and no patient is turned away, regardless of their background’.

In 1998, he was part of the Working Group that first started methadone treatment in Dublin for those with heroin addiction.

He was instrumental in securing funding for the provision of medical care for the residents of the Sundial Hostel, a hostel in Dublin 8, for homeless people who are addicted to alcohol. Many of these residents have multiple comorbidities due to their addiction and without the hostel, they would no doubt, be on the street with no dignity or comfort.

He is described as epitomising what it means to be a good GP.  He always puts the patient first and his qualities as an individual ensure that he goes the extra mile for each and every patient.

He also has a very fulfilling life outside of General Practice. He is a doting husband to Linda, who has worked alongside him in harmony as the Practice nurse for many years. He is a loving father to two daughters, one of whom is following in his footsteps as a GP and he has just recently become a grandfather. He is also an avid sailor.

In the words of one of his nominators: ‘I have learnt a lot from his infinite patience, compassion, selflessness and overall dedication to both General Practice and to his patients and their families.’

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