Former RCGP chair and Scotland CMO among GPs recognised in New Year Honours

GPs were among those to receive awards in the New Year Honours lists, which also saw doctors that led the UK's response to the pandemic and COVID-19 vaccine rollout recognised.

Clockwise from top left: Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lamparrd, Professor Sir Gregor Smith, Dr Grainne Doran and Professor Kamlesh Khunti
Clockwise from top left: Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lamparrd, Professor Sir Gregor Smith, Dr Grainne Doran and Professor Kamlesh Khunti (Photos: Pete Hill, Getty Images and University of Leicester).

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, the immediate past chair of the RCGP, was made a dame for services to general practice. Dame Helen, who is currently chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, chair of the National Academy of Social Prescribing and a GP in Staffordshire, said on Twitter that she was 'completely blown away and humbled' by the award and thanked colleagues across the NHS.

GP Professor Gregor Smith, who has been chief medical officer for Scotland since December 2020, received a knighthood for services to public health. Sir Gregor said receiving the honour was 'a truly humbling experience'. He added he was 'really pleased to see so many clinicians feature this year - but there are so many more whose dedication, professionalism and excellence goes unseen'.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, a GP in Leicester and professor of primary care diabetes and vascular medicine at the University of Leicester, received a CBE for services to health.

Professor Khunti has led work on the impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) healthcare staff, including leading on development of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine's risk reduction framework for NHS staff at risk of COVID-19.

He was among the first to spot the disproportionate affect COVID-19 had on BAME communities and became a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and chair of the SAGE ethnic sub-panel.

Professor Khunti has also published more than 1,000 academic papers on type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. He said: 'I am truly humbled and I would like to dedicate the award to my team at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, my staff at the Hockley Farm Medical Practice, the University of Leicester and most of all to my family. It is indeed a huge honour to be recognised in the New Year Honours List.'

Professor Tony Avery, professor of primary healthcare at the University of Nottingham, was awarded an OBE for services to general practice. Professor Avery's research focuses on patient safety and he has led studies on prescribing errors and avoidable harm in primary care.

Professor Avery said: 'I'm absolutely delighted to receive this honour, and I would like to thank all my colleagues for the contribution they have made to my career. I would particularly like to thank my wife, Chris, and my family and friends for their love and support.'

Dr Grainne Doran, past chair of the RCGP in Northern Ireland and a GP in County Down, also received an OBE for services to general practice. She said on Twitter that the award had been achieved 'because of the support and dedication of my colleagues over many years'. 'I love general practice,' she added.

Professor Simon Gregory, who is a GP in Northampton and deputy medical director for primary and integrated care at Health Education England. received an MBE for services to general practice.

Professor Gregory said: 'I am grateful and humbled to be honoured in this way. I would like to thank so many people, my parents and family that have sacrificed so much to support me, so many amazing colleagues in HEE and in my practice and my patients, who, after all are what general practice is really about.

'General practice is relentless at the moment, with so many impacts of the pandemic, and delivering this massive vaccine programme in a manner that demonstrates just how great general practice colleagues are. The honour citation says, “for services to general practice”. For me this is the greatest honour, as general practice rocks!'

Dr Adaeze Ifezulike, a GP in Aberdeen, also received an MBE for services to health inequalities in BAME communities in Scotland.

An MBE also went to Dr Iram Sattar, a GP in London and a trustee of the Muslim Women's Network UK and homeless charity The Passage, for services to the health and wellbeing of vulnerable people. Dr Sattar has run free clinics for the homeless, undocumented migrants and commercial sex workers. She has also helped run health check stalls for the Muslim community in mosques and bazaars.

Dr Sattar is also the co-founder of the Nisa Global Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve the lives of women and girls in disadvantaged communities around the world.

Retired Sheffield GP Dr Amar Rughani, who wrote a book about leadership in primary care in 2020, also received an MBE for services to general practice.

Elsewhere, England CMO Professor Chris Whitty was knighted and made a Knights Commander of the Order of Bath. Deputy CMO for England Professor Jonathan Van Tam and Welsh CMO Dr Frank Atherton received a knighthood.

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, and Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, were made dames, as was Dr Emily Lawson, who led NHS England's COVID-19 vaccine roll out.

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