Local health and care hero chosen to represent London in NHS birthday awards
A local Medical centre practice manager has been chosen from hundreds of applicants to represent London in a prestigious competition to mark the NHS's 70th birthday.
As regional champion in the Excellence in Primary Care category, Brian Dickens will now vie with other regional winners from across England for a national award to be presented at a special ceremony in the Palace of Westminster in July.
The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, sponsored by IBM and Teva, recognise the massive contribution made by the individuals who work in and alongside the NHS.
Launched in February, it asked the region's MPs to find and nominate those individuals or teams they thought have made the biggest improvements to health services in their constituencies across ten categories. Brian Dickens was nominated by Mr Steve Reed OBE MP.
From over 750 entries, senior experts have chosen four outstanding nominations in each category, which exemplify the best of what the NHS and its partners do day in, day out.
Brian was nominated for developing a social prescribing programe in North Croydon. Social prescribing is when a GP gives a patient a non-medical "prescription" to a local fitness class or activity. The programme is aimed at giving people the opportunity to better manage their own health and wellbeing.
Brian has mobilised his local community to come together and offer a range of support, from aerobics to practical activities like gardening. Many attendees report that the events they attend are not just beneficial for their health, but are also helping them build relationships with others in their community. One gentleman was overweight and spoke about being lonely to his GP. After being "prescribed" and attending regular exercise classes, he has lost three stone and now rides his bike with friends to and from events.
Dr Agnelo Fernandes, NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group Clinical Chair and Parchmore Medical Centre GP said: "I'm delighted Brian has been recognised in this way. His tireless efforts have made real long term positive differences to the health of our patients and we are already building on his excellent work so that even more local people across Croydon can benefit."
Steve Reed said: "I'm so proud that Brian's work will now be acknowledged at national level. He is a credit to his local community, to Croydon and to London. Brian is a true trailblazer; his work has not only improved the health and wellbeing of residents, he has broken down barriers and brought diverse communities together."
All of the champions will now be invited to the national awards ceremony, which will be held on July 4th, the day before the NHS's 70th birthday.
The ceremony will be hosted by Dr Sara Kayat, NHS GP & TV Doctor best known for This Morning, Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls and GPs: Behind Closed Doors.
The regional champions will now go forward to a final stage of judging by a panel including the leaders of Royal Colleges, the Unison trade union, and the Patients Association – collectively representing millions of health and care workers and patients.