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Former RCGP chair Clare Gerada awarded damehood

Professor Clare Gerada

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.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

John Graham Munro 12 October, 2020 12:35 pm


Clare Gerada 12 October, 2020 2:53 pm

Why john? Don’t you think we deserve these awards

John Graham Munro 12 October, 2020 4:32 pm


Alistair Howitt 12 October, 2020 4:46 pm

It’s difficult to think of any member of the profession more deserving of this award. I am in awe of all Clare’s achievements but nothing compares to an extremely stressed colleague telling me that the health service for GP ‘s which she set up ‘saved my life’ .

Clare Gerada 12 October, 2020 5:53 pm

One is never fully worthy of an award and there are always more ‘unsung than sung hero’s’.

I am deeply honoured to have received this and truly surprised.

I think I am only the 4th female GP to get this honour. As with all awards or achievements, its not just for me, but a recognition of all the work my teams have done over the years, especially the PHP team. All best and I hope you are making sure you are well rested before the next phase of this plague. Lots of love

Dave Kew 13 October, 2020 11:49 am

Dame of the British Empire. Send it back and tell them to modernise the system.

Slobbering Spaniel 13 October, 2020 9:19 pm

Celebrate that this award has been awarded to someone who has actually worked to benefit others .

Patrufini Duffy 13 October, 2020 11:25 pm

Truly well done. But, on a side note, I have learnt much over 5 years and of how the British elite expertly use this emotive well-planned scheme to tactically pluck the heart strings of the public and appease society across the socio-demographic landscape. Royalty engaging momentarily with ground zero. This is a meaningful recognition to those awarded, and perhaps a beacon to others if needs be. But, ‘power’ leaders now burden their accolades and letters, and will only be truly recognised once they dismantle and break the actual hierarchy, thinking, indoctrination, old traditions and unspoken truths that delivered them the medal, whilst the unsung heroes continue to have their honest voices quashed instead.

Peter Holden 15 October, 2020 6:52 pm

All of these colleagues deserve the honours they have received and it is mean spirited of colleagues to snipe.

Whatever your views of the honours system doctors in general do not receive them “with the rations” as in other walks of life

We should be celebrating this not denigrating it