A number of GPs have been recognised in this year’s New Year’s Honours, including former RGCP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard.
Professor Stokes-Lampard, who was awarded a damehood for ‘services to general practice’, said she was ‘completely blown away and humbled’.
Dame Helen also thanked her ‘amazing colleagues’, including at the College, Department of Health and Social Care, and Lichfield’s Westgate Practice.
Dame Helen took over as chair of the National Academy for Social Prescribing in 2019, and also chairs the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, as well as serving as Professor of GP Education at the University of Birmingham. Here, vice-chancellor Professor Adam Tickell extended his ‘warmest congratulations’ for the ‘well-deserved public recognition of her outstanding achievements in her field.’
Another past RCGP chair, Dr Grainne Doran, who oversaw the Northern Ireland division, has become an OBE. She Tweeted that she was ‘overwhelmed and honoured’ to have been nominated by colleagues in the College, and singled out her ‘love’ for general practice.
Similarly, Scottish chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith has received a knighthood – while his UK-wide counterpart, Professor Chris Whitty, was made Knights Commander of the Order of the Bath. The former Larkhall-based GP, who went onto act as medical director of primary care at NHS Lanarkshire, described the experience as ‘truly humbling’, and shared his pleasure at seeing ‘so many clinicians feature this year’. He also noted that ‘there are so many more whose dedication, professionalism and excellence goes unseen’.
Elsewhere in Scotland, Dr Adaeze Ifezulike was made an MBE. The Aberdeen GP has worked extensively in the field of health inequalities among black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in the country.
Dr Simon Gregory, deputy medical director of primary and integrated care at Health Education England (HEE), received the same honour for ‘services to general practice’. Dr Gregory, also a salaried GP in Northampton, 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.’
Another MBE went to London GP Dr Iram Sattar, for ‘services to health and wellbeing of vulnerable people’. Replying to a celebratory message from Muslim Women UK, Dr Sattar, who has an interest in mental health, homelessness health and women’s rights, commented: ‘I’m lucky and humbled to be recognised for my work. I always say that I get more than I give – there’s a satisfaction that is unrivalled and you’re surrounded by wonderful like-minded people – it’s truly a team effort!’
Elsewhere, Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Professor of primary care diabetes and vascular medicine at the University of Leicester, was made a CBE.
He told his university workplace: ‘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.’
Similarly, Dr Tony Avery was made an OBE for ‘services to general practice’. The University of Nottingham, where he is Professor of primary health care, said that it ‘could not be prouder of everything he has achieved’. Thanking his colleagues, the GP felt his recognition ‘would not have been possible’ without their ‘friendship and support’.
And former Sheffield GP Dr Amar Rughani is now an MBE. Dr Rughani, who doubles as a leadership mentor, responded to congratulations posts with: ‘I simply care and try to help where I can. That’s all. And the fact that you do too makes our community what it is and energises it with what it could become.’
Other notable names from healthcare and particularly the Covid pandemic who made it to the list are chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance; England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van Tam; Welsh chief medical officer Dr Frank Atherton; UK Health Security Agency chief executive Dr Jenny Harries; MHRA chief executive Dr June Raine; and NHS England’s Covid vaccine deployment lead Dr Emily Lawson.