An east London healthcare leader has sought to highlight the admin “superheroes” who keep the NHS running, after winning a prestigious national award.
Virginia Patania, who manages Jubilee Street Practice in Tower Hamlets won the coveted ‘Healthcare Leader of the Year’ category at the 2019 General Practice Awards, beating off competition from across the country.
Virginia, who has worked for the NHS in Tower Hamlets for 13 years, was recognised for her commitment to NHS staff, the workplace and playing a key role driving quality improvements in Tower Hamlets.
However, she is dedicating her victory to NHS administrators and says her biggest achievement is in “creating joy in the workplace.”
Virginia said: “There’s actually a really specific reason why I’m so happy to win. It takes so much energy and enthusiasm to keep the work going – it can be really tiring.
“So to have a boost that says, actually, other people do see it and value it – it’s a moment that gives me energy for another decade. It’s a really precious nod that you don’t get every day and it feels amazing.”
She added: “To me, administrators are superheroes. Often it’s the doctors who get recognised but our non-clinical staff in Tower Hamlets are the glue that holds it all together.
“The work I lead in Tower Hamlets is really staff focused. Traditionally, healthcare has always been shaped around the patient, which of course is fundamental, but equally fundamental is work that focuses on our staff.
“I’m sure that part of the recognition of my programme is due to the fact that it is so strongly staff focused.”
“My biggest achievement has been generating enthusiasm and investment to increase joy in the workplace.”
Virginia is the Transformation Partner at the Jubilee Street Practice in Commercial Road, where she is responsible for overseeing the smooth running of the busy practice, working closely with GPs and other staff.
She is also a member of the governing body at NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group, leading on urgent, emergency and primary care; and a director of the Tower Hamlets GP Care Group, a provider federation formed by GP practices in the borough to offer community services at scale.