‘Unsung NHS hero’ Nicola celebrates 30 years at Potton and Gamlingay medical practice

From left to right, Dr Joanna Rayment (partner), Dr Laurence Drake (retired partner), Dr Catherine Jarvis (partner), Dr Hubertus von Blumenthal (partner), Dr Katherine May (partner), Nicola Gauge (practice Manager),  Dr Diana Taine (retired partner),  Dr Mike Baker (retired partner), Dr Jessica Maddams (partner),  Dr Brian Jones (retired partner).
From left to right, Dr Joanna Rayment (partner), Dr Laurence Drake (retired partner), Dr Catherine Jarvis (partner), Dr Hubertus von Blumenthal (partner), Dr Katherine May (partner), Nicola Gauge (practice Manager), Dr Diana Taine (retired partner), Dr Mike Baker (retired partner), Dr Jessica Maddams (partner), Dr Brian Jones (retired partner).

A medical practice based in Potton and Gamlingay commended an “unsung hero of the NHS”, as their dedicated manager celebrated 30 years with the team.

Nicola Gauge, 47, of Biggleswade, first joined Greensands Medical Practice in 1989 and worked her way up from office assistant, becoming practice manager for the two sites 15 years ago.

Unsuspecting Nicola - who describes herself as extremely proud to work for the NHS - was surprised on Wednesday (July 10) for her anniversary, with colleagues past and present gathering to give her a big cheer.

Nicola said: “The party was a complete surprise and I was very humbled. It was lovely to see everybody in the room.

“There was a buffet and I was presented with beautiful gifts, lovely words, champagne and flowers.

“The position itself is incredibly rewarding, as you make a difference to the community.

“We have a strong partnership and practice, and all our patients are special. The team is just brilliant.”

Nicola joined Greensands straight from school, and grew up in the nearby village of Dunton.

She was delighted to catch up with former colleagues who had come in specially to see her, and she thanked everybody who contributed to the party.

She added: “There have been constant changes to the NHS, which we have to work with to help them overcome.

“But its founder [Aneurin Bevan] said that: ‘The NHS will last as long as there’s folk with faith left to fight for it.’

“It’s a national treasure and I feel privileged to work with it.”

And why has Nicola stayed in one place for so long?

She said: “I’m committed to the practice. We’re very supported here and it’s a lovely area to work in.”

Dr Catherine Jarvis, of Greensands Medical Practice, concluded: “We are immensely proud of our practice and our practice manager, Nicola.

“We feel she is one of the unsung heroes of the NHS, quietly working in the background to ensure that we continue to give the best care that we can to our patients.

“Nicola joined our practice in 1989 as an office junior and worked hard, quietly with determination and in October 2004 she became our practice manager.

“Since then she has dedicated her life to the practice. She tirelessly looks after all the GPs, staff and patients. She works calmly and quietly with a smile on her face, never giving up on the challenges that face her daily.

“All the GPs feel very lucky to have Nicola as our practice manager. She is very well respected throughout the locality and works closely with the other practice managers and the CCG to ensure that our patients get the very best care.

“She has taken on board all the changes within the NHS and meets them head on. She continues to work with us at Greensands and we are taking this opportunity to acknowledge her hard work and continuing dedication to the practice. We believe she truly is an unsung hero of the NHS.”

Nicola has a husband, Andrew, 55, and two sons, James, 22, and Ben, 18, who are all very proud of her.