The PHCSG John Perry Prize this year was presented to Dr Mary Hawking at the Group AGM and annual conference held at Crewe Hall Hotel on Friday 25 September. The award was presented by Dr Joan Trowel, John Perry’s widow.
John Perry donated profits from Omits to the Group prior to his death in order to create the computing prize. John presented the first prize in March 1985 only weeks before his death. The prize continues in John’s memory and is awarded for innovation and excellence in UK primary care computing.
Mary has campaigned tirelessly to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of GP and primary care records over the years. Her interest was triggered by a failed Read Code conversion at her practice, which she took up with the suppliers to try to prevent any other practices suffering the way hers had.
She managed to get the Acceptable Use Policy rewritten for NHS.net, as it was not appropriate for primary care. Following on from that she turned her attention to the difficulties revealed with sharing records across boundaries in the emerging enterprise systems. She identified serious safety concerns with conflicts over medication and diagnosis, and who had the right to change these.
It is thanks to her energetic efforts that we now have the RCGP Shared Record Professional Guidance (SRPG), a set of professionally led guidelines that consider the governance, medico-legal and patient safety consequences of Shared Electronic Patient Record (SEPR) systems in primary care.
It was for this work that Mary received the prize, but she is continuing to campaign for improvements in data quality across all healthcare environments.
Mary has been an enthusiastic member of the PHCSG for many years.