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The first-ever Greater Manchester awards ceremony to celebrate the dedication and achievements of nurses working in general practice was held on 15 February at the Etihad Stadium.

The prestigious event, organised by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, honoured individuals and teams from across Greater Manchester that have worked to ensure the very best care for patients.

Salford Health Matters, a social enterprise organisation which runs three GP practices in Eccles, Little Hulton, and Salford, are celebrating a double win. The organisation won awards for Transforming Services and for Innovative Training Practice of the Year. 

The Transforming Services award was for a ‘Virtual Ward’ pilot which Salford Health Matters ran for over 12 months.  This was to improve the management of frail older people in the Little Hulton and Walkden neighbourhoods, with the aim of improving their quality of life and also to help reduce hospital admissions and demand on local GPs.

The Virtual Ward is a case management and acute home visiting service. It operates in the same way as a normal hospital ward, the difference is the patient stays comfortably and safely in their own home. Patients are referred to the ‘ward’ and assessed by the lead Advanced Practitioner. If the patient meets the criteria, the team works with them for 4 weeks then discharges them back to their GP, with a full assessment to develop a person-centred care plan.

Francine Thorpe, Director of Quality and Innovation at NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), who made the nomination, said:



“This pilot project demonstrated an integrated approach to testing out new delivery models between GP practices across one neighbourhood. It has helped to inform the development of a unified and seamless service between primary and secondary care and is an excellent example of locally delivered services.

“Feedback from service users and staff has been very positive and benefits have been realised in managing demand for urgent care”.


The Innovative Training Practice of the Year award was for training practices that consistently deliver confident contemporary care and provide an excellent setting for the practice nurse trainee.

Salford Health Matters is a training and development practice and is responsible for providing placements for non-medical undergraduates, including nurses, advanced health practitioners, paramedics and physician associates, within GP practices in Salford.

It offers a comprehensive induction programme, ensuring students gain the most benefit from their placements, where they learn about GP practice work and wider social care needs, such as social work, care homes, housing and debt advice.

It has promoted mentorship training and supported practitioners in their continuous professional development.

The judging panel said:


“Salford Health Matters won the award due to the team’s commitment to providing high-quality placements for students and a structured career path”.

Kate Jones, Director of Salford Health Matters and lead nurse for the Virtual Ward project, and Moira Ogunsakin, Lead Practice Nurse, collected the awards.

Kate said:


“Salford Health Matters are delighted that Salford was recognised in the Greater Manchester awards. Both awards show how well many of the practices in Salford are working together to expand our general practice workforce by tailoring fantastic placements, thereby introducing students from many different backgrounds to the realities of working in general practice. The success of our programmes is demonstrated by the fact that previous students are already increasing our workforce. Two well-deserved awards for Salford!”

Newbury Green Medical Practice Nursing Team were runners-up in the award for Practice Nursing Team of the Year and were commended for their commitment to patients, their work rate, positive attitude, initiative and overall contribution to the practice.


Tina Long, Chief Nurse for Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said:


“General practice nurses play a vital role in Greater Manchester’s health service. They are the first point of contact for many patients and undertake 70% of care for those with long-term conditions. However, all too often they are the unsung heroes of primary care, and we wanted to change that.” 


The Salford Health Matters photo shows the following people:

(left to right): Tina Long, Chief Nurse at Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP);  Kate Jones, Director of Salford Health Matters; Richard Leece, Executive Lead for Quality, GMHSCP; Moira Ogunsakin, Lead Practice Nurse at Salford Health Matters; Dr Philip Hammond.

The Newbury Green photo shows the following people :

Charelle Hughes, Assistant Practitioner;  Joanne Smith, Assistant Practitioner; Dr Deborah Larah, GP; Nicola Allan, Assistant Practitioner;  Claire Price, Practice Nurse.



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