By Julia Bruce
It is always easier to draw attention to a mistake than an success. Doctors are amongst some of the most highly scrutinised professionals in society, but do we give them the credit they deserve? According the British Medical Journal, british newspapers publish twice as many negative stories about doctors than positive. After the intense media coverage of Dr Edward Erin poisoning his wife last month, it is not surprising that a negative attitude has been adopted. The new Gala awards by the Royal College of General Practitioners aim to fix this.
Due to be held in Edinburgh in December, the RCGP awards are the first of their kind in Scotland and will honour Britains’ unsung heros. A number of awards will be presented, including “GP of the year award”, and it is a chance for patients to give something back to their GPs. Dr. Ken Lawton, chairman of the RCGP recognises this as an opportunity to focus positive attention on doctors and recognise the commitment they give endlessly to society: “Quality of patient care is a priority for GPs in Scotland and it is important to recognise the success stories of General Practice at its best” These are the grass routes of general practice, and there is a worry that they have unfortunately been lost somewhere along the way.
The awards are will not only recognise the hard work of doctors. The “Practice Team Award” will praise the work of everyone from administrative staff to nurses who have demonstrated excellent patient practice in their community. Furthermore, the winner of the “GP of the year award” will have been nominated by the patients themselves, making the reward truly reflective of patient community care.
With the swine flu threat still at large, it would seem now, more than ever, we need to put faith in our NHS. The black tie event will also raise money for Depression Alliance Scotland and Cancer Research UK.