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East of England GP wins prestigious 2022 Royal College of GPs and NIHR award

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A GP in Norwich has won a prestigious national award honouring the enormous contribution they have made in delivering research to find new treatments and care pathways for NHS patients over the last year.

Dr Serge Engamba, a GP with OneNorwich Practices, Norfolk, has been announced as winner of this year's Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) First5® Award, run jointly with the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN).

The awards recognise GPs who demonstrate an emerging interest and experience in delivering NIHR CRN research within a primary care setting. Dr Engamba was recognised for his commitment to building research capacity in the Norwich Primary Care Network (PCN) and encouraging public participation in research.

By successfully engaging the Norwich PCN and the 21 OneNorwich GP practices, Dr Engamba has ensured that each GP practice has been able to offer research opportunities to their patients. All practices in OneNorwich recruited for the PANORAMIC trial, a first for the PCN. The collaboration between the practices, cultivated by Dr Engamba, allowed for an offer to join the Psychological Impact of COVID-19 study to be sent to every patient at each surgery by text. As a result the OneNorwich GP network is the fifth highest recruiting GP site in the UK for the study, assembling 1,631 participants..

As well as being a GP, Dr Engamba is also a GP partner, clinical research lead and the NIHR CRN Primary Care Deputy Specialty Lead for the East of England.

On winning this prestigious award, Dr. Engamba said:

“I feel really honoured to have received this research award, which is a testimony to the hard work and dedication of my team of colleagues and our real passion for primary care research. Our work promotes the idea that research delivery can be done safely and efficiently ‘at scale’ and introduces this model as a successful alternative in primary care.

“Since its inception in 2006, the NIHR has significantly increased the scale of clinical research in the NHS, particularly through the NIHR Clinical Research Network. The engagement of NHS physicians and trainees is essential for sustaining and building on this success, particularly given the many competing demands on clinician time and resources.”

Judges' comments:

Dr Engamba has shown commitment, considerable work, energy and initiative in developing research capacity. It is truly inspiring in terms of impact he has had in both leading, delivering and widening research. His contribution to the delivery of the PANORAMIC COVID-19 study in his PCN should also be commended.”

Professor Jeremy Turner, Lead Clinical Director for the NIHR CRN in the East of England region, said:

“Huge congratulations to Dr Engamba for the well-deserved recognition he has received in these important awards. Dr Engamba not only provides the drive and dedication to grow research opportunities for patients and the public, he is also an inspiration to everyone involved in research in health and social care. We are extremely privileged to have him as part of our regional and national NIHR community.”

The RCGP and NIHR Awards also include a Practice category, the winner of which has been announced as the Shifa Surgery in Blackburn, Lancashire. The Practice Award identifies research-active NHS general practices that demonstrate innovation and excellence when delivering NIHR CRN portfolio research.

For more information on the RCGP/NIHR Awards visit the NIHR website.