Karen Harris

Karen Harris, Practice Manager at Putneymead Medical Centre in Putney

“I joined the NHS in 1982 in rural Northampton and returned to my home town of London in 2000, joining an inner-city practice with a diverse patient base. The practice GPs were also Forensic Medics working with the Metropolitan Police. This was an interesting learning experience and provided me with a different perspective on patient care.

“I joined Putneymead Medical Centre in 2003, which was then based in a large Georgian House, and was invited to become a Management Partner in 2008.

“For me, the very best part of working in south west London is my own team of 80 staff at Putneymead who are the most dedicated, professional, caring and hard-working people.

“Patient care is changing, demand is increasing, and we are having to look at resources to support these changes. We have therefore diversified our workforce to support our 22 GPs. We now have two Physicians Associates, a Clinical Pharmacist, two Health Care Assistants and have just completed the training of five Medical Assistants. We also have a team of in-house Counsellors and provide Mindfulness Group Therapy.

“I think my proudest moment was being invited to join Putneymead as a Partner. We have grown together and I feel I have probably reached the top of my career pathway. I have been privileged to work with some great Partners over the years.

“A close runner up would be the inauguration of Putneymead in July 2011, which was attended by Putney MP Justine Greening. It marked the culmination of our move, between 2008 and 2010, from three separate GP practices in Putney into one practice based in new, refurbished premises. We are now the largest GP practice on a single site in Wandsworth.

“Who would have thought we would grow out of the enormous space we moved into in 2011 within seven years, but we have!”