England’s top doctor and chief nurse among NHS staff recognised in historic jubilee honours

England’s top doctor and the Chief Nurse for England have been recognised alongside dozens of healthcare staff in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Honours List.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director since 2018 and a doctor for 37 years, has been knighted for his services to the NHS, particularly for his role leading the response to the pandemic.

Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May, the lead for the nursing, midwifery and care professions in England, has been made a Dame for her services to nursing, midwifery and the NHS over the last 37 years, after becoming a nurse in 1985.

Dozens of NHS staff, including GPs, nurses and midwives, have also been honoured in the landmark awards, celebrating 70 years of the Queen’s service.

Among those set to receive an CBE as part of the Jubilee celebrations are Richard Barker, NHS England and NHS Improvement Regional Director for the North East and Yorkshire, and Sarah Jane Marsh, chief executive of Birmingham Women and Children’s NHS Trust.

Other 2022 recipients for the NHS and care include:

  • Angela Knight Jackson, NHS England’s Deputy Director for Nursing Professional Development awarded an MBE, for services to the NHS, specifically the nursing and midwifery workforce.
  • Royal College of Physicians’ President, Dr Andrew Goddard who will receive a knighthood.
  • Julian Hartley, Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, who will be knighted.
  • Sue Doheny, Regional Chief Nurse for NHS England in the South West who has been awarded an MBE for services to nursing.
  • Professor Joanne Martin, National Specialty Advisor for Pathology for NHS England, who has been awarded a CBE.

Staff have been recognised for their central response to the pandemic, where the NHS cared for over 740,000 people with covid-19 in hospital, as well as rolling out the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in health history, delivering 124 million vaccinations.

Others have been recognised for a career in which they have made a real difference to NHS care and patients’ lives.

In addition to The Queen’s annual birthday honours, this year to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, emergency workers will be eligible for a number of Platinum Jubilee Medals in recognition of their work on the nation’s frontline each and every day.

Around 26,000 paramedics from ambulance trusts up and down the country are to be awarded the one-off medals, including Amy Bell, Emergency Care Assistant for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard paid tribute to all those in the NHS and beyond who played such an extraordinary role in the response to the greatest challenge faced by the country over the last few years and to the NHS as a whole.

NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, said: “Along with the royal family, the NHS is a huge source of patriotic pride and so I am delighted that the huge contribution of NHS staff has been rightly recognised in the historic Jubilee honours.

“I am particularly proud that my colleagues who have given so much to lead the national pandemic response have also been awarded.

“The skill, compassion and dedication shown by staff up and down and the country has been extraordinary and it continues to be extraordinary as they work hard to recover services for patients.

“While the pandemic has shone a light on the efforts of our incredible staff, they continue to go above and beyond to care for patients – that’s not just today or over the last two years, but over the last seven decades.

“I want to congratulate everyone working in the NHS and care sector receiving an honour and a Jubilee medal – it is greatly deserved.”

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s National Medical Director, said: “I am truly honoured to be recognised with this award. It reflects the passion, focus and sheer determination of NHS staff during the pandemic, as we tackled the biggest health threat of a generation.

“That dedication continues as teams across the NHS address the backlogs that have built up, in the most ambitious catch-up plan in NHS history.

“It is an enormous privilege to work alongside so many staff and volunteers who have repeatedly gone over and above to make sure others are cared for and protected.”

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: “I am proud to receive this award and I do so on behalf of the nursing and midwifery professions who use their expertise to care for us throughout every stage of our lives in hospitals, in our homes and in the community each and every day.

“The last two years have been incredibly challenging for our professions and I am grateful for the role that nurses, midwives and care staff have played during the pandemic. While I have always known how remarkable our health and care professions are, the pandemic has shone an even brighter light on their extraordinary work.

“I have never been prouder to be a nurse and choosing to dedicate my career to working in the NHS has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

Angela Knight Jackson, NHS England’s Deputy Director for Nursing Professional Development, said: “I am overjoyed to receive an MBE and be honoured in this way. As a first-generation descendent of Windrush, I stand on the shoulders of giants. For 40 years I’ve had an amazing journey working as a clinician, in academia and as a senior leader and would like to thank my incredible colleague’s past and present who have supported me.

“It is an absolute privilege to be part of the NHS and to have the opportunity to work with so many phenomenal and dedicated colleagues and serve humanity”.

Sue Doheny, Regional Chief Nurse for NHS England in the South West, said: “I am humbled by this extraordinary recognition. I accept it not for myself but on behalf of all the nurses, midwives, students and those in the caring professions across the South West, where I have spent the most recent six years of my career. Any achievements I have had are as a result of working alongside such dedicated professionals, learning from them, and using that learning to improve care for patients. When I receive the award in person, I shall think of them all in that moment”.

Richard Barker, NHS England and NHS Improvement Regional Director for the North East and Yorkshire, began his career in the NHS 38 years ago as an information officer for Sunderland Health Authority. He has been made a CBE in this year’s honours. He said: “I am absolutely delighted to be the recipient of this honour. Few achievements are those of a single individual and this is a reflection of the wonderful support I have been fortunate to enjoy from my own family and the wider NHS family, both past and present.

“It is incredibly rewarding to play some part in helping others achieve their potential, just as I have benefited from the encouragement and insight of so many talented colleagues, committed to patient care and the ethos of service”.

Amy Bell, Emergency Care Assistant for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, received a special Platinum Jubilee Medal for her service, she said: “I was a member of the ambulance crew which responded to a York hotel for the first suspected cases of COVID-19 in the UK.  I’m so proud to receive my Platinum Jubilee Medal in recognition of working on the frontline of an emergency service. It’s a real privilege to serve the public and help them when they are most in need”.