dr heafield local heroes 2016 3×20
Dr Heafield has set up numerous projects in her practice to better support her local community, and particularly carers, in one of the most deprived areas of Derbyshire.
Due to her hard work, her practice in the small town of Alfreton now has a carer support worker who identifies, assesses and supports carers. Open to all carers even if they aren’t registered at the practice, the service has seen more carers identified – a massive rise of 281% – and 800% more carer assessments. And Dr Heafield hasn’t stopped there. Another 18 nearby practices are also offering this service and the CCG is considering running it throughout south Derbyshire.
Dr Heafield also set up an art gallery in the medical centre, which she says aims to ‘increase patient self-esteem, encourage people to take up arts as therapy, bring together the community in a joint project and help people see what great talent we have in our area, which is the most deprived in our CCG’. Her practice also secured weekly counselling sessions at the practice for children, after a local counselling service closed due to a lack of funding.
And her practice has won recognition for her work, being awarded the NHS patient champion of the year at the East Midlands Leadership Awards, and being the only GP practice to win a silver award from the ‘Dignity in Care’ campaign, due to her work as a dignity champion. Not content to sit on her laurels, Dr Heafield aims to set up a local ‘superkitchen’ next year, providing a hub to bring together the local community, educate people in healthy eating and offer diabetes clinics.
According to her colleagues, Dr Heafield’s efforts have ‘made our work easier as we now have new ways to engage with patients and new services that we can offer without additional cost or workload increases to the clinicians at the surgery.’
What others say about her ’All of these extra projects have been done on Dr Heafield’s own time and have provided huge improvements to our patients’ sense of wellbeing and satisfaction.’