Norwich GP nominated for national award

The General Practice Awards are held every year and recognise the achievements of GPs and their teams who have gone above and beyond.

This year, in one of the most challenging years imaginable for GPs, Dr Jeanine Smirl from St Stephen’s Gate Medical Practice in Norwich has been nominated for the prestigious ‘GP of the Year’ award.

Dr Smirl who joined the practice in 2004 specialises in paediatrics and mental health is a GP trainer, clinical director for the Norwich Primary Care Network (PCN) and clinical adviser for the Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Along with a colleague Dr Julian Brown (also nominated) Dr Smirl was instrumental in setting up the ‘Covid Protect’ project, which provided emergency support for the most vulnerable patients across Norfolk and Waveney during the pandemic. In addition, both doctors were pivotal in the launch of Protect NoW (Norfolk and Waveney) which addresses cancer screening, vaccine uptake, waiting lists, long Covid and pre-diabetes in the region.

On top of her day job as a GP she has administered hundreds of vaccinations, visited a mosque in Norwich to encourage vaccine take-up and completed a mini-MBA at the Judge Business School in Cambridge. Asked what she thought of her nomination she said “I strongly believe that good leadership saves lives. The pandemic has put this in sharp perspective and has magnified health inequalities and vulnerabilities. I have been working harder than ever before with some amazing colleagues across Norwich, Norfolk and beyond. The recognition is a real boost which will enable me to keep going.

Chair of OneNorwich Practices Sarah Ambrose said “Dr Smirl’s commitment to patient care is outstanding.

She always seeks to deliver excellence, seeing tasks through, and helping, supporting and developing others. She understands how effective teamwork makes a difference to patient care, and that through integration and collaboration, best outcomes are achieved. A consummate professional, Jeanine is always seeking to make improvements and never loses focus of the patient journey.

She is an exceptional leader and would be the last person to expect an award, saying she ‘is just doing her job’.

If anyone deserves recognition for service to patients and the NHS, it is Dr Smirl”

 Janka Rodziewicz, CEO of OneNorwich Practices said “This recognition is hugely well deserved. Dr Smirl is a phenomenal driving force for innovation and development within Norwich primary care. She expertly pulls together partners among clinicians, commissioners and managers to deliver meaningful outcomes for patients. She leads with care, passion and determination, while keeping oversight of operational needs, strategy and opportunities for innovation. We are extremely fortunate and proud that she is a member of our Board of Directors, and grateful for all she does to drive us forward as an organisation, a network and a system.”

The award ceremony takes place on 10 December in London, we look forward to updating you then and in the meantime wish both Dr Smirl and Dr Brown the best of luck.