GPs among healthcare staff recognised in Queen's birthday honours

GPs who played a key role during the COVID-19 pandemic are among those to receive honours in the Queen's birthday list this year.

Dame Clare Gerada (left) and Dr Carey Lunan, who received an MBE
Dame Clare Gerada (left) and Dr Carey Lunan, who received an MBE

The birthday honours also brought a damehood for former RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada for services to general practice.

Some 14% of the people on this year's list, which was delayed to consider nominations of people who had made contributions in the early part of the pandemic, are health and social care workers.

RCGP Scotland chair Dr Carey Lunan, who is a GP in Edinburgh, recevied an MBE for services to healthcare in Scotland during the COVID-19 response.

Dr Carter Singh a GP in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire was awarded an MBE for services to healthcare in Nottinghamshire, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Hareen De Silva, a GP in London, received a British Empire Medal for services to general practice during COVID-19.

Birthday honours

The honours list also saw Dr George Kassianos, national immunisation lead at the RCGP, awarded a CBE for services to travel medicine and general practice.

Professor Nigel Mathers, Emeritus professor of primary medical care at the University of Sheffield and chair of trustees at the RCGP, received an MBE for services to general practice.

An MBE was also awarded to Dr Joseph Palmer, a GP in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, for services to prison healthcare in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, TV doctor and GP Dr Hilary Jones received an MBE for services to broadcasting, public health information and charity.

On Twitter Dr Gerada said she was 'humbled' to be awarded the DBE. She said it represented a life time's work, adding 'I'm proud to have been able to serve my patients, my profession and my community for more than 30 years'.

Dr Lunan tweeted that her MBE was 'all very unexpected'. She added: 'Couldn't have done any of it without my team...so proud to be a GP.'

COVID-19 pandemic

Dr Singh, who is an RCGP council member, was recognised for his work with patients with learning disabilities and BAME doctors and communities during the pandemic. On Twitter he said he was 'honoured and humbled' to receive the award. He said he was accepting it 'on behalf of all those who have tragically lost loved ones to COVID-19.'

Dr Singh worked closely with residential homes and care staff to adapt infection control measures, daily activity and diet plans for his patients with learning disabilities to help reduce the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on their quality of life.

He was also among the first to identify that COVID-19 was disproportionately impacting on Black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and developed advice and guidance for BAME doctors and patients, including videos and social media information.

RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall said: 'Many congratulations to all GPs and other primary care colleagues who have been recognised on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. The college is delighted that their hard work is being acknowledged in this way.

'These awards are not only a celebration of individual personal achievements but also a reflection of how hard general practice has been working during the pandemic to tackle COVID-19 in the community, and continue to care for patients, with both COVID and non-COVID conditions, in the most challenging of circumstances.'

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