A Newham GP is looking forward to promoting the borough as “a great place to live and work” after winning a prestigious national award.
Dr Farzana Hussain, senior partner at the Project Surgery in Plaistow, won ‘GP of the Year’ at the 2019 General Practice Awards and is now looking ahead to 2020.
Dr Hussain overcame tragedy, managing the busy practice on her own after the sudden death of her senior partner, Petre Jones, six years ago.
The judges noted Dr Hussain’s dedication to her 4,500 patients, colleagues and local community; praised her efforts driving quality improvement and streamlining appointment processes, and lauded her work with pharmacists to free up GP time.
While delighted to be honoured, Dr Hussain said she regarded her award as a victory for Newham and recognition of her surgery’s passion for general practice.
Dr Hussain, said: “'I was at the awards representing Newham and was just so chuffed; it’s such a morale boost.
“I know we work for our patients, but something like this was such a lovely external appreciation. I felt on top of the world and the response from my peers was just absolutely beautiful.
“Petre was such an inspiration to me as a colleague and a mentor. He was a training GP and when we lost him it was not just a tragedy for our practice but for the whole of Newham.
“When he died, I carried on the practice on my own through difficult times – for seven months I was the only GP here at all – because our patients and community needed us.”
She added: “I also see this award as a victory for frontline GPs, and it shows that while big system change is important, GPs can make a huge difference – not just in treating patients, but innovating in how they care for people and work with other parts of the NHS.”
Dr Hussain, who has been a GP in Newham for 18 years, is not planning to rest on her laurels and aims to use her award to promote the borough.
She said: “2020 is even more exciting for me. I want to use this platform to raise the profile of Newham nationally and show that it is a really great place to come and live and work and make a difference to people’s lives.
“The borough has its health challenges but it’s great to have some good news and I honestly couldn’t think of working or living anywhere else.”
Dr Hussain is also a board director at the borough’s GP federation, the Newham Healthcare Collaborative; clinical director for Newham 1 Primary Care Network; non-executive director on the National Association of Primary Care; a committee member on the Newham Local Medical Committee; and passes on her expertise as a GP trainer and appraiser, coach and medical school GP tutor.