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Dr Heather Wetherell

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dr wetherell local heroes 2016 3×2

Dr Wetherell is all about bringing people together. The Middlesbrough GP has managed to do the impossible and get GPs and consultants to work and socialise together, with innovative methods such the walking group, the Medic Ramblers, with 10-15 clinicians joining every month.

The primary-secondary care integration lead at NHS South Tees CCG also ran a consultant v GPs cricket match and set up a new group for GPs and consultants to ‘forge lasting relationships’. In nominating her, a local GP said these activities ‘helped us maintain our enthusiasm and resilience to continue working in the NHS’.

Dr Wetherell also runs joint study events for GPs and consultants to learn and ‘find solutions together’, with topics from overdiagnosis to dealing with death. She’s also allowed GPs to get input into junior doctors’ induction sessions to say what they want (and, more importantly, don’t want) to see on discharge letters.

She has also transformed her practice from ‘a high patient demand/ high clinician burnout practice to a happy, thriving and relaxed environment with high patient and GP satisfaction scores’, by rearranging the appointment system to provide better care and cut workload.

With all that going on, it’s not surprising that what Dr Wetherell wants to change about general practice is ‘more time for patients’. She would also like to ‘see clinicians re-learn the art of using a telephone’ to connect services better.

What others say about her ‘Very impressed by her enthusiasm and organisational skills… she is well liked and respected by her colleagues.’

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