Honoured as a past winner, and now supporting the Inspiring Women Awards, “recognising the achievements of incredible women in diverse spheres makes me very proud.”

Inspiring Women Awards sponsor – Dr Shikha Pitalia

As a female doctor of Indian origin, I’ve had more than my fair share of challenges! So to have my work in healthcare recognised at the 2019 Inspiring Women awards was actually quite an emotional moment for me.

I have always been passionate about the NHS, in particular the pivotal role General Practice holds within the system. At the turn of the 21st century, it was increasingly apparent that pressures were rising exponentially, and many GP surgeries were at risk of closure. As GPs ourselves, my husband, Sanjay, and I were committed to protect these valued services and so founded SSP Health.

We devised a new model to support practices to focus on patient services and move all the non-clinical back office work to a centralised team of managers and administrators. Over the last 20 years the SSP Health model remains unique in the way we keep individual practices open, some of which were at real risk of closure.

SSP Health patients have that local connection to a place and team with which they are familiar while in the background there is a giant machine and infrastructure which supports each site to survive and indeed thrive.

However as medical science advances, people’s work and lifestyle choices have also evolved. With greater awareness, many choose to make an investment in their health and well-being. Recognising this different type of healthcare demand inspired Sanjay and me to establish Pall Mall Medical.

The first Pall Mall clinic opened in city centre Manchester in 2010 offering GP appointments and health screens.

Within months we expanded to include specialist consultant appointments because that’s what our patients needed. Over the next few years Pall Mall expanded to include a hospital, cosmetic surgery and diagnostic centre with state of the art operating theatres, MRI, mammogram and CT scanners. Now with clinics in Liverpool, Leeds and more coming soon, Pall Mall provides services that many patients seek outside of the national health service.

I remain committed to the values of the NHS and the essential role it plays and equally acknowledge the individual choices people make to seek alternatives.

Bringing innovation and entrepreneurship to the spectrum of healthcare has been an exciting journey for me, and there is still more to do …

Meanwhile, Shikha will be joining us at the Inspiring Women Awards lunch on 19th May 2023 as sponsor, supporter, speaker, award winner and friend.