Tamuka wins Nurse of the Year accolade

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A nurse working at Brighton Station Health Centre has scooped a prestigious national award.

Tamuka Gonah beat off competition from across the country to be voted ‘Nursing in Practice’ Nurse of the Year in the 2014 General Practice Awards. The awards aim to highlight and reward the great and innovative work being carried out by healthcare professionals every day.

Judges were impressed by Tamuka’s consistent hard work and efforts as lead nurse for the sexual health service at the centre. They heard he often comes in on his days off and works tirelessly to develop the service, representing it at the national annual Sexual Health Conference.

Tamuka has been instrumental in implementing sexual health services and projects designed to help reduce the number of sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs) in Brighton by improving detection rates.

The centre offers on-site microsocopy and can give same day results to its patients. It can treat most STIs except HIV, hepatitis and syphilis which are referred on via a fast-track pathway to the local GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinic. The centre has extended access hours every day of the year and patient surveys demonstrates very high levels of satisfaction with the opening hours and waiting times. All patients who are registered with the centre’s GP practice are also offered a HIV test on registration to help improve detection rates.

Tamuka said: “I am absolutely thrilled to win this award. When you come into work each day, it’s not to win awards, but to care the best you can for patients. However, hopefully this award recognises the high level of care patients enjoy when they visit our centre, not just from my but by the whole team.”

Adrian McCourt, service director for practices at Care UK, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by Tamuka and a reflection of the truly excellent services we provide at Brighton Station Health Centre. The work the team does has earned us the respect of commissioners and internally within Care UK but, most importantly, can be seen by the care and experience our patients enjoy every day.”

The centre, in Queen’s Road, opened five years ago and is run on behalf of the local NHS by independent sector health and social care provider Care UK. It has nearly 6,000 registered patients and, during the past five years, has seen 95,000 patients through the walk-in centre and a further 35,000 through the sexual health clinic.

It is open every day of the year, including bank holidays, 8am-8pm (8am-7pm for the sexual health clinic). When people register as a patient, they can access a full range of services and arrange to see a doctor of their choice at a time that suits them. Patients can see a medical professional within 24 hours and book appointments up to eight weeks in advance. Non-registered patients can walk-in at any time during opening hours and receive advice and treatment on a wide range of minor illnesses and injuries.

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