Her commitment to colleagues and people registered with the surgery, and her can do attitude to the ever-changing face of general practice has seen her take on almost any task from mopping floors and climbing step ladders to fix electrics.
Dr Stephen Seale, a GP at Newquay Health Centre, nominated Sheena for the award, hailing her an “inspiration”.
Sheena started working as a secretary at the surgery immediately after leaving school, and in 2006 she rose the ranks to deputy manager and later practice manager.
She said: “I love my job, and it never entered my head to look for a position anywhere else. I consider myself very lucky to have worked with fantastic people both past and present and have had the best employers throughout my career.
“I have so many good memories of the past 41 years that it is impossible to pick just 1. The sad part is saying goodbye to colleagues when they move onto pastures new, but new people arrive and soon become part of our team.”
She added so much has changed from her early pre-prescription days where repeat prescriptions were painstakingly written by hand.
Dr Seale said: “Sheena has inspired staff with her hard work and cheerful, competent and modest attitude every day for decades. She goes the extra mile, often coming in for extra weekends and evenings, and has always been conscientious and good humoured. She is totally dedicated to having the best possible outcome for people.
“During her career, she has managed a huge amount of change like the proverbial swan – calm and ordered whilst working very hard to keep making progress.”
Sheena managed the successful merger of 2 smaller practices, whilst absorbing the closure of a single-handed practice. She has also made sure the practice kept up with the times, including the expansion of the GP team to include working with paramedics, physiotherapists, pharmacists and minor illness nurses, and she supported the practice’s health care assistant to retrain as a practice nurse.
She has also been at the forefront of the social prescribing movement, and in 2013 the Newquay Pathfinder scooped the Health Service Journal award for managing long term conditions which supported more than 100 older people to manage their health, and connect with people in their community.
Dr Seale added: “She will be very hard to replace – from her ability to clamber up a ladder in her heels to fix the electrics, to being genuinely respected by the large team around her in a thriving well-respected practice and community, which she has been central to developing.”
Sheena’s husband Kevin, her father Neil Bodman and partner in crime, practice manager Jane Meachem attended the ceremony at NHS Kernow’s Governing Body meeting on Tuesday 3 December to see her receive the award.
Jane said: “She is my rock, I can take anything to Sheena and her door is always open. She is a wealth of knowledge and a very lovely friend.”
Sheena added: “I am very honoured to receive this award and my thanks go to Steve for the nomination and to anyone else involved in this well-kept secret! I want to thank Janey for her behind the scenes support, mentoring and counselling sessions and also thanks to my family as without them keeping up the home front I could not have put in the hours at work. This award may have my name on it but this is very much a team effort and I am very proud to represent Newquay Health Centre.”
Once she has said her final farewell to colleagues she is looking forward to helping their daughter move into her first home and seeing their son get married. After that the plans are to travel on an open end ticket to tour France with Kevin, and to “sorting out the loft and finally putting my children’s baby photos in an album – my eldest is now 30!”