A DOCTOR who runs GP practices in St Helens has been honoured with an award for inspirational women.

Dr Shikha Pitalia, a GP and director of SSP Health, won the Business Trophy at the 2019 Inspiring Women Awards, a celebration of remarkable females from across the North West.

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Dr Pitalia received her accolade at a special ceremony at Manchester’s Lowry Hotel where women from all walks of life were honoured for their work across the community.

The judges were impressed with the array of innovative measures Dr Pitalia has put in place across SSP Health practices to unburden GPs and release more time for them to concentrate on caring for patients.

SSP Health employs almost 500 people at 37 practice sites across the North West, including three in the St Helens area: The Bowery Medical Centre on Elephant Lane, Thatto Heath; Newton Community Practice on Bradlegh Road and Newton Medical Centre on Belvedere Road.

After receiving the award, Dr Pitalia said: “I was overwhelmed and overjoyed to win this award surrounded by a room of such amazing women.

“I would like to thank my fantastic staff and SSP managers who allow me to find innovative and entrepreneurial ways to improve healthcare for our 140,000 patients."

Co-founder and director of SSP Health, Dr Pitalia leads the largest NHS provider of GP services in the region and one of the largest in the country

“I am extremely proud to be working in general practice, an area of healthcare that continues to be pivotal to our wonderful National Health Service," she added.

“We have all recently seen the news of an increasing shortage of doctors in general practice and we need to do things that are innovative to allow primary care to thrive.”