A Derry based doctor has been named the Northern Ireland GP of year following a nomination from one of her many patients.
Dr. Claire Sweeney who hails from outside of Omagh, has been with Cityview Medical since 2003 - when she was just beginning her training.
The 35 year old then took up a position as a partner in the practice in 2008 - and she is said it a job she loves.
But yet she never expected that she would receive a nomination from a patient for the prestigious award and was “totally shocked and surprised” to learn that she had.
“You never expect that is going to be you,” she told the Journal last night.
“I am deeply humbled that someone took the time to nominate me.
“It means a lot that someone would do that.”
For Dr. Sweeney the best part of the job is building close working relationships with her patients.
“It’s just that lovely feeling of getting to know patients and helping them,” she said.
The senior doctor in Cityview Medical Dr Nial McCallion, who himself has just been awarded a fellowship by the Royal College of General Practitioners said he was “not at all surprised” that Dr. Sweeney had been nominated.
“Claire is a really good example of what general practice should be about,” he said.
“When I heard that she had been nominated I knew that she would win the overall award.”
Both Dr Sweeney and Dr McCallion paid tribute to the team at Cityview Medical where they both work.
“This is very much a team award,” Dr. Sweeney said. “We have such a great team here helping us - from our fellow doctors to our manager and our receptionists.”
The awards are designed to recognise both GPs and practice staff who go that ‘extra mile’ to ensure that their patients receive the highest standards of care.
The nominating patient said: “Dr Sweeney is a true ‘General Practitioner’…she is sympathetic, realistic, and totally professional and provides a level of excellence above and beyond the call the duty”.