A Tower Hamlets GP has been knighted in this year’s New Year’s Honours, with Dr Sam Everington to be titled Sir Sam going forward.
Dr Everington, who chairs Tower Hamlets CCG, is a BMA Council member, the former deputy chair of the BMA and a GP at the Bromley-by-Bow Centre in east London, received the honour ‘for services to primary care’.
His knighthood citation further said he was ‘a cutting-edge innovator’ who has improved GP services in one of the poorest areas of the country.
It said: ‘Beyond his own practice, he has improved health services across east London from the transition between GP services and acute care in one of London’s poorest boroughs, while delivering the highest rate of MMR immunisation in London.’
Most recently a member of the London Health Commission, which recommended a £1bn investment in GP premises and moving to an 8-8 service in the capital, Dr Everington has been an outspoken leader on GP commissioning and reforms to primary care services.
However he famously called for the Health and Social Care Bill to be stopped in 2012. In a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, which was seized upon by Labour Ed Miliband in a heated parliamentary debate, Dr Everington said the NHS could be improved without the bureaucracy the Act would bring.
Dr Everington said: ‘It’s a wonderful surprise and privilege for my work to be recognised. I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity of working with fantastic partners, colleagues and patients in Tower Hamlets, including the local CCG and the Bromley-By-Bow Centre.’
Tower Hamlets CCG chief officer Jane Milligan said Dr Everington’s driving force was ‘his love for the NHS’ and his ‘dedication to local people’ of Tower Hamlets.
She added: ‘This is a great honour for him, for the NHS, and community of Tower Hamlets. Sam’s focus is and always will be the health of local people… Receiving a knighthood is a great recognition of this passion and his success.’
The CQC’s senior GP adviser Professor Nigel Sparrow was also recognised in the New Year’s Honours, receiving an OBE for services to primary care. Other GPs on the list included Dr Timothy Robson, a Hertfordshire GP running a homeless clinic, also with an OBE, and Dr Caron Morton, accountable officer for Shropshire CCG, who received an MBE.
Two Scottish GPs were also recognised, with former BMA Scottish Council chair Dr Brian Keighly, a GP in Balfron, Stirlingshire, receiving an OBE and Dr David Troup, GP at Arrochar Surgery in Dunbartonshire, receiving an MBE.