A MULTI site doctors' practice is one of the first in the Ashton, Wigan and Leigh area to receive and Investors in People award.

Leigh Family Practice has earned the award in recognition of the GP surgery’s efforts over ther last three years in recognising the importance of both employees and patients.

The practice was created by amalgamating staff from two separate practices and creating a new multi-site GP practice that is open 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays and Saturday mornings to help improve access to GP services.

As part of the amalgamation of the two practice teams, there was a robust process developed to support staff training and development was.

In addition to regular team sessions and away days, practice reception and back office staff were all supported to work towards a NVQ Level 3 award in customer services.

The doctors also have a robust internal process to develop their own skills by continually being assessed and supported in gaining higher qualifications, specialist skills and in becoming trainers of other GPs and medical students making the practice a successful learning environment.

Additionally the Practice has supported and developed the Patient Participation Group, which has now become a forum for patient empowerment and partnership.

Leigh MP Andy Burnham, who presented the award at Bridgewater mnedical Centre in Henry Street, said: “I am delighted that the Leigh Family Practice has achieved the Investors in People Award for the work carried out to develop staff and patient services. The Award to a local Leigh GP practice goes a long way to assure patients of good policies, performance management and best practice being put in place to support high quality healthcare services to the people of Leigh.’’ In response Dr Neil Forsdyke, Senior General Practitioner and Clinical Director for Leigh Family Practice said|: " we are delighted to have received this IIP award, especially at a time of increasing pressure on General Practice and the NHS as a whole.

"We hope to be able to harness the enhanced skills of the staff to continually improve upon the quality of service that we offer to our patients."