A senior nurse practitioner will be awarded by the queen for her work in primary care, and spoke exclusively to Nursing in Practice about how it happened.
Carol Ann Stonham is a senior nurse practitioner at Minchinhampton GP Surgery, Gloucestershire, and Nursing in Practice’s expert respiratory blogger. She will be awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by the queen “for services to nursing”, an announcement that rendered her “speechless”.
“I had a CQC inspection that week, it went very well, but it had been a really busy week.” She signed the petition against student nursing loans a few days previously, and thought the letter was from her local MP about the petition. However, it was notifying her that she was being considered for an honour from the Queen.
The nurse, age 51 from Stroud, Gloucestershire, has spent 25 years in general practice, completed a master’s in respiratory care and is now UK Lead Nurse for the Primary Care Respiratory Society, and a mentor for student nurses.
“It’s a great recognition for primary care nurses. You always read about it and it’s high profile nurses getting awards. But practice nursing is a high profile job, we save lives everyday, and in a changing NHS we are the future. It’s a real honour,” she said.
Similarly, Dr Charles Thomas Heatley, a GP at Birley Health Centre in South Yorkshire, will be awarded an MBE “for services to primary healthcare”.
He was part of the first wave of NHS volunteers who went to Sierra Leone for five weeks over Christmas 2014 to work in an Ebola treatment centre, where he helped set up procedures to diagnose and treat critically ill people.
Dr Heatley said: “I was surprised and delighted to receive an MBE. It’s all about working with teams, whether in my practice, with the commissioning group or with the team in Sierra Leonne. It was a privilege to take NHS values to another health care system and to be part of the front line helping critically ill Ebola patients and their families.”
The chief nurse at Public Health England, Professor Viv Bennett, will also be awarded a CBE by the Queen, as well as, Harpal Singh Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, will be knighted for services to cancer research.
In terms of mental health, Dr Geraldine Mary Strathdee, national clinical director for mental health at NHS England will be awarded an honours, as will Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind for his services to mental health.
Commenting on the announcement by the Queen, Jackie Smith, chief executive of the Nursing Medical Council (NMC), said: “The NMC extends our thorough congratulations to all nurses and midwives who are recognised in the 2016 New Year Honours list. Nurses and midwives do a phenomenal job throughout the year and it’s great that their important contribution to both the professions has been acknowledged.”