The Richmond Road family. Photograph: courtesy Richmond Road Medical Centre

Staff at Richmond Road Medical Centre have won ‘GP Team of the Year’ at the highly regarded National General Practice Awards 2020 – a stunning achievement considering the country is in the midst of one the worst healthcare crises in its history.

It is the fourth year in a row that the surgery has featured at the awards, which celebrate excellence in healthcare.

In 2019, it was a finalist in the ‘Reception Team of the Year’ category; the year before, practice partner Dr Gopal Mehta was highly commended in the ‘GP of the Year’ prize; and in 2017, Richmond Road saw off hundreds of competitors to win ‘Practice of the Year’.

Dr Mehta, who works alongside fellow partners Dr Tibrewal and Dr Sarika, paid tribute to the team’s many achievements in the face of the intense pressures brought on by the pandemic.

He said: “I am delighted for our team and exceptionally proud that we have been chosen from among hundreds of hard-working practices across the country. Richmond Road Medical Centre has completely transformed into a centre of innovation, access and opportunity, with patient needs at the forefront.

“Our team’s true commitment to the delivery of high-quality patient care means we strive to provide a first-class service to our patients, which is welcoming, caring, efficient and safe. It has also ensured that we have achieved health outcomes at the highest levels, both locally and nationally.

“With the incredible pressures faced by the NHS as we battle the pandemic alongside the regular demands on local healthcare services, it’s not easy being on the frontline.”

The team picks up its 2017 prize at the Royal Lancaster hotel.
Photograph: Richmond Road Medical Centre

To improve access for patients, Richmond Road has pioneered a model that allows people to see or speak to a GP within 24 hours of making contact for a routine appointment, as well as championing working hours of 8am to 8pm on top of weekend openings.

The practice is one of the highest performing in the country when it comes to care for people with long-term health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, while its Patient Online campaign has seen 90 per cent of patients sign up for online services, putting it in the top 10 nationally for digital registrations.

And despite the pandemic, the team has continued its innovative work in mental health and wellbeing services. Their annual ‘Healthy Mind Event’ drew more than 60 exhibitors and 500 patients in 2019, and with lockdown restrictions in place last year, the practice moved the services online, offering free in-house mindfulness and yoga sessions, alongside virtual Wellness Retreats which have attract more than 100 people every time. These sessions have now started up again, and run every Tuesday and Thursday.

Richmond Road’s reception manager Sham Aziz said: “I absolutely love working here at Richmond Road Medical Centre. While it can at times be very busy, everyone has a real passion for the work they do. We all aim for the best outcomes for our patients.

“We are often referred to the as the ‘Richmond Road Family’, and this is exactly how we all function, working together to achieve the best together. We are all really touched by this recognition, thank you!”

For more information on the practice’s free online wellbeing classes, follow Richmond Road on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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