Former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada has been awarded a damehood in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The South London GP, who is the medical director for GP mental health service the NHS Practitioner Health Programme (PHP) and a partner at the Hurley Group, was recognised ‘for services to general practice’.
Other GPs recognised in the list of honours included RCGP Scotland chair Dr Carey Lunan, chair of the RCGP trustees board Dr Nigel Mathers and RCGP council member Dr Carter Singh, who were all awarded MBEs, for services to general practice, and for healthcare during the Covid-19 response.
The RCGP’s immunisation lead Dr George Kassianos was awarded a CBE, while London GP Dr Hareen De Silva has been given a British Empire Medal for his work at the Nightingale hospital for Covid patients – an experience which Pulse documented during summer.
Northern Irish GP Dr Joseph Palmer received an MBE for services to prison healthcare; and media GP Dr Hilary Jones received the same honour for services to broadcasting, public health information and charity.
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 today. The College is delighted that their hard work is being acknowledged in this way.’
Professor Marshall continued: ‘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.’
Introducing the recipients of the higher awards, the Government highlighted Professor Gerada’s (Lady Wessely) three decades spent as a GP and psychiatrist; serving as the first female RCGP chair in 50 years, leading ‘the profession through the 2012 NHS Act’. It also highlighted her work with the NHS PHP, her work on the GMC gross medical manslaughter review – in light of the Bawa-Garba case – and on the Department of Health gender pay gap review.
Reflecting on the news on Twitter, Professor Gerada thanked colleagues who have helped with the culmination of a ‘lifetime’s work’.
This year’s birthday honours were delayed to factor in contributions towards the Covid-19 pandemic response, with healthcare workers making up 14% of the list.
The list also saw a record high proportion of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people awarded honours, while women made up 49% of the list.