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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Blizard academic awarded for contribution to general practice through research

Professor Deborah Swinglehurst from the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health at the Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, has received the John Fry Award for promoting the discipline of general practice through research and publishing.

Professor Deborah Swinglehurst

Professor Deborah Swinglehurst

The John Fry Award is an award by nomination presented each year by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), in consultation with the Society of Academic Primary Care (SAPC). The Award is presented to a Member or Fellow of the College and is intended to encourage people to undertake research as a practising GP early on in their career and within 20 years of qualification as a GP.

The award was presented at a ceremony which took place on Friday 17 May at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) in London.

Professor Swinglehurst said: "It is a great honour to receive this award. I would like to say a big 'thank you' to all the patients, colleagues, teachers, students and mentors who have contributed in their different ways to support my learning, my clinical practice and my research over the years."

Helping to shape the future of general practice

Professor Swinglehurst has been practising as a GP for 20 years, combining clinical work with teaching, research and scholarship throughout. She leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers working at the interfaces between medicine, social science and linguistics with a focus on the role of language and social interaction in shaping health care practices, organisational routines and health policy. Her research includes the role of technologies in practice (including work on the electronic patient record in 2012 which challenged accepted practice), the quality and safety of repeat prescribing, polypharmacy and medicines optimisation, the meaning of ‘quality’ in health care, and how health policies shape practices.

By contributing theoretically informed ‘practice-based’ evidence, her aim is to inspire clinicians and students to reflect critically on – and think differently about – their ‘ordinary’ practice, from within their practice. She also challenges policymakers to adopt a more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of the general practice context which they seek to shape.

Contribution to medical education

Professor Swinglehurst also supervises PhD and MSc students, is a graduate tutor for the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health and lead for the ‘Health Practices, Innovation and Implementation’ pathway of the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Programme. She is also deputy director of a research unit within the Centre, and holds other leadership and editorial roles. In 2005 she won, along with three colleagues, the Higher Education Award/Times Higher Education Supplement e-tutor of the year award for an innovative web-based MSc in International Primary Health Care. In 2018 she led the Scientific Programme for the Society for Academic Primary Care Annual Scientific Meeting, introducing several innovative ideas to the programme’s structure.

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