North London Partners in health and care

NAPC award for Nicola for her work on First Contact Practitioner pilot

Congratulations to Nicola Akehurst, an advanced practice physiotherapist (APP) and APP lead for Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital, at Royal Free NHS Trust who was named the NAPC (National Association of Primary Care) Newcomer of the Year for her work on the First Contact Practitioner pilot.

The pilot which has now been made permanent in Enfield enables patients suffering from back pain see an expert immediately, without need for referral by their GP. 

The service aims to improve patients’ experience and quality of care by ensuring they receive the most appropriate treatment from the most appropriate clinician as soon as possible. Feedback and satisfaction ratings from patients and primary care staff were extremely high during the pilot.

Speaking of her award Nicola said: “I am surprised and delighted to receive this award and I want to share it with my APP colleagues that worked with patients in primary care to deliver this service.

“The idea for the project was one that has developed over many years from our experience of treating patients with back pain. It is incredibly rewarding that our work to effectively and efficiently influence the management of patients with back pain is now recognised nationally.” 

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