Surgery lands top award for OAP project

Dara O'Briain
Dara O'Briain

An Ilkeston GP surgery is celebrating winning a national prize for a project it pioneered to help elderly

patients last winter.

Dr Paul Weston Smith and Littlewick practice director Diane Perry.

Dr Paul Weston Smith and Littlewick practice director Diane Perry.

Staff from Littlewick Medical Centre were up against four other primary care teams from across the country at a glitzy BMJ awards ceremony.

Practice director Diane Perry said she was ‘thrilled’ to pick up the award for the Littlewick Outreach to Vulnerable Elderly (LOVE) project from TV presenter and comedian Dara O’Briain in London this month.

“I have never been so shocked as when they announced we were the winners,” she said. “We’re so pleased – this award adds a lot of credibility to the work we’re doing and will help us to roll this project out across Derbyshire.

“Littlewick is commited to improving the health of our community as a whole and we are always looking at new ways to do this.”

The LOVE project was aimed at improving the health and social care of elderly folk who ‘don’t want to bother the doctor’.

A total of 46 patients from the Nottingham Road surgery accepted health and social assessments, winter survival packs and thermometers with alarm functions.

A further 19 people took advice on fuel deprivation, nutrition and falls prevention.

As a result of the project the practice has reported a drop of 50 per cent in patients complaining of lung disease. Awards judges praised Littlewick for its ‘significant impact on the health and well-being of the wider community.’

Because of the success of the first phase, phase two of the project is now under way and is being supported by a small grant to the borough council from National Energy Advice.

Patients assisted by the scheme said they felt they had received more care though being involved with it.