New Year Honours 2021
Staff from across King’s Health Partners have been recognised in the New Year Honours 2021.
The New Year Honours list recognises the outstanding achievements of people across the United Kingdom. Six members of staff across King’s Health Partners, and one former member of staff, have been recognised this year:
Mary Sheridan [pictured above, left hand side] was recognised for services to midwifery. She has been a midwife at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust for 32 years and a lecturer at King’s College London for 19 years.
Since 2011, Mary has been the lead midwife for the Newborn and Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) programme at St Thomas’ Hospital, which screens babies within 72 hours of birth for conditions relating to their heart, hips, eyes and testes. She worked with Public Health England to introduce the NIPE Smart System, which was piloted at St Thomas’ Hospital and then rolled out nationally.
Mary worked during the festive period, examining 44 babies over six days as part of the NIPE programme at St Thomas’ Hospital.
I was so surprised to receive an email saying I’d been nominated for a medal. It’s great that midwifery has been recognised as a profession in the New Year Honours list.
Dr Azeem Alam, junior doctor at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, [pictured above, middle] was recognised for services to medical education during COVID-19. The 28-year-old founded BiteMedicine, which has provided free medical education for medical students, physician associates and aspiring doctors during the pandemic, teaching more than 10,000 students worldwide via online, live webinars.
Dr Alam, who has worked in the emergency department during the pandemic, said:
After receiving the initial email that I had been recommended by the Prime Minister for the honour of a British Empire Medal, I was in complete disbelief, and still am. I told my family as soon as I was able to and they were equally shocked.
I am earnestly grateful for the recognition that my work within medical education during COVID-19 has received, and I hope that BiteMedicine continues to grow beyond the pandemic. With the ongoing development of the BiteMedicine Foundation, I aspire for the platform to raise awareness of chronic medical conditions, as well as money to contribute to the care of patients with these conditions.
I hope that this accolade, which I am so fortunate to receive, can inspire others to try and become the change that they aspire to see within their chosen field.
Paul Tunstell, chief pharmacist Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, [pictured above, right hand side] was recognised for services to the NHS during COVID-19.
Paul led the pharmacy technical services during the pandemic where a large number of special medicines were manufactured to meet the changing demands COVID-19 brought to both Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and the wider NHS. As well as the manufacturing service, the whole pharmacy team played a vital role in ensuring sufficient medicines were always available and that they were prescribed and administered safely.
Paul, who has worked at the Trust for 31 years, said:
I am delighted to receive this honour in recognition of the role the whole pharmacy department has played in response to COVID 19.
It's been a privilege to work with such a dedicated and talented team who have adapted to meet the changing needs of patients whilst supporting and caring for each other. It's been an immensely challenging year and the way the Trust has pulled together and responded has been truly inspiring.
Dr Tom Best, clinical director for critical care at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation, has been recognised for services to critical care, particularly for his work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Best was instrumental in ensuring the Trust was able to safely manage the high volume of patients requiring intensive care during the first wave in April 2020. King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has had among the highest number of acutely unwell patients in the country.
Jill Demilew, former consultant midwife at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, has been recognised for services to midwifery. During her career, Jill had helped to address health inequalities and improve access to healthcare for the most vulnerable women in south London. Through her work, Jill has applied different models of care within the community to get the very best outcomes for the most disadvantaged.
Jill was fundamental in implementing continuity of carer models so that women have the same group of midwives supporting them throughout their pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal care. The model established at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been used as an exemplar across the South West Local Maternity System.
Prof Francesca Happé, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, was recognised for services to the study of autism.
It was a wonderful shock to learn that I had been awarded a CBE! All science is a collaborative effort, so this honour really goes to my wonderful students and colleagues, and to the autistic collaborators and participants who make our research possible.
Prof Happé’s primary research focus for over 30 years has been the study of autism. Her work explores the nature of social understanding in neurotypical development; studies of abilities and assets in autism and their relation to detail-focused cognitive style; and mental health on the autism spectrum, and under-researched subgroups including women and the elderly.
Dr Asha Thomson, senior clinical teacher for King's College London, and speciality dentist in oral and maxillofacial Surgery, senior clinical leadership fellow East Anglia NHS England, was recognised for services to the NHS, particularly during the COVID-19 response.
The New Year Honours List includes 1,239 recipients, recognised for their extraordinary contributions in all four nations of the United Kingdom.
Public sector workers make up 14.8% of the list and include firefighters, medical professionals, teachers, police officers and local government workers - all of whom are being recognised for making a huge individual impact, particularly in the response to COVID-19.