Authored article

Honours: celebrating contributions to health and care

Una O'Brien, Department of Health Permanent Secretary, calls for honours nominations for those who have made a difference in health and care.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Dame Una O'Brien DCB

Who will you nominate?

Honours are a great way to recognise the achievements of ordinary people who do extraordinary things. Anyone can be put forward for an Honour – and anyone can nominate a person they think truly deserves this recognition.

The Department of Health is proud of all the people that work and contribute to the health and care system, and we want to champion them through the Honours system. Honours not only recognise the individual’s extraordinary achievements, they are also an inspiration to others and benefit the wider community.

Do you know someone – male, female, young or old – who goes above and beyond the call of duty every day? In the Department of Health we are looking for nominations for people who work for, volunteer or have made an outstanding contribution at any level within the health and care system.

Who do you know that fits the bill?

You could be a colleague impressed by the work of another; a member of the public seeing the impact of a nurse or midwife; a trust board wanting recognition for an outstanding volunteer or leader, or perhaps a healthcare charity that wants to acknowledge an exceptional colleague. Status or seniority isn’t important – what matters is what the person has done and the impact they have had on people’s health and care over a sustained period of time.

If they are making a positive difference in the health and care sector then we want to know about them.

The Department of Health also wants to encourage nominees from all backgrounds and would especially like to see greater numbers of women and more people from black and ethnic minorities being recognised for their achievements. Remember, the only way to ensure that all parts of the health sector are represented on any honours list is for us to receive nominations.

In recent years, the Department of Health has put forward successful nominees who were recognised right across the country. Here we highlight three people who were recognised for going that extra mile:

Sue Sheridan has held several national positions in her career and now devotes part of her time as a trustee of nursing charities. Sue’s passion for advancing nursing practice through her voluntary work had been driven by a constant desire to improve care across a range of services. The impact of her work has been felt in hospitals, community and mental health services. Sue received her OBE for services to Nursing.

“I am, of course, delighted, but especially for the recognition it gives to the role nursing and nurses play in healthcare more widely” – Sue Sheridan OBE

Mark Roberts raised over £1million for The Christie cancer hospital to help malignant melanoma sufferers following the death of his wife. His determination, courage and passion helped him reach that target in 3 years and this money has made a tremendous difference to the treatment and care for cancer patients at the hospital. Mark received his British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community.

“I don’t think there are many greater feelings than to know that your achievements have been recognised at the highest level, or to know you have made a valid contribution to your country. To receive a British Empire Medal and to read and understand it’s history, and why it is awarded, fills me with a huge amount of pride. It is something I will treasure for the rest of my life.” – Mark Roberts BEM

Dr Amanda Doyle has been serving patients for nearly 20 years as a senior GP partner in a large practice in Blackpool. More recently she has combined this with a significant clinical leadership role as chief clinical officer for Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group. Amanda played a pivotal role in the development of 3 state-of-the-art primary care centres that revolutionised health services across Blackpool and paved the way for similar ways of delivery across the country. Amanda received her OBE for services to primary care.

“To be honoured in this way comes as a wonderful surprise – it is not something you ever expect. For me personally, it is obviously a great honour. But I think the award is also recognition of the achievements of so many others who I have been privileged to work alongside in the challenge to improve health – not only in Blackpool but the country as a whole” – Amanda Doyle - OBE

See information on how to nominate someone and nomination form.

Published 20 February 2014
Last updated 4 September 2014 + show all updates
  1. Updated for nominations for Birthday Honours 2015 and to highlight new Honours recipients.
  2. First published.