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Nurses recognised in the 2019 Queen’s birthday honours list


Leading nurses from the world of research, the charity sector and the military are among those recognised with birthday honours from the Queen this year.

Laura Lee, the nurse who helped found Maggie’s cancer centres and is currently the charity’s chief executive, has been made a dame, and Group Captain Theresa Griffths, from the Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service, has been made an CBE.

She is currently overseeing work to transfer the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre from Headley Court to a new location at Stanford Hall in the East Midlands.

Meanwhile, Professor Alison Leary, a leading light on nursing workforce research and a member of the Nursing Times editorial advisory board, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for 2019.

An MBE has also gone to the chief executive of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Cara Charles-Barks, who is a former nurse, for her leadership during the Novichok poisonings in 2018.

A statement from the Cabinet Office said an MBE had been bestowed on Mrs Charles-Barks, as she “showed exceptional and inspirational leadership during the 2018 nerve agent attacks”.

“Her leadership enabled the trust to provide world-class care to patients, which demonstrated the skill of the NHS and earning admiration, both throughout the country and around the world,” it said.

Ms Charles-Barks began her career in 1990, as a registered nurse in Australia. She has given 11 years of service to the NHS, joining Salisbury District Hospital as the chief executive in February 2017.

Alison Leary

Alison Leary

Alison Leary

She said: “This is a great honour. I feel that this is recognition of the work of all the staff at Salisbury District Hospital.

“Each of our staff played a part in keeping the hospital open and running smoothly through the first nerve agent attack on European soil since World War II and the longest running major incident in the NHS’s 70 year history,” she said.

“Hospital staff did what they do each day; they gave outstanding care to our community,” she said. “I am humbled by their commitment and care for people in Salisbury and I am delighted to accept this honour.”

Another MBE recipient is Liz Darlison, a consultant nurse and head of services for the national Mesothelioma UK charity.

University of Leicester Hospitals NHS Trust

Liz Darlison

Liz Darlison

She works at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, focusing on the treatment and care of mesothelioma patients, and established Mesothelioma UK in 2004 and continues to lead this national charity for asbestos-related cancer, based in Leicester.

Commenting on the award, Ms Darlison said: “I was absolutely delighted to be awarded with an MBE, not just for myself but would also like to recognise that this is a wonderful achievement for Leicester’s Hospitals, nursing and Mesothelioma UK.

“It is testament to the continued work of our wonderful NHS and shows that nursing is an amazing career,” she said. “Leicester’s Hospitals is an excellent employer that developed me and allowed the charity to get started, and to be awarded an MBE is also a testament to Mesothelioma UK, our supporters and team.”

Carolyn Fox, chief nurse at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Liz who is dedicated to her work both at Glenfield Hospital and for Mesothelioma UK, the charity she established, and this recognition is well deserved.”

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

Cara Charles-Barks

Cara Charles-Barks

A nurse from Wootten Bassett has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for transforming Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s approach to caring for more vulnerable patients, including people with dementia, mental health conditions and learning disabilities and/or autism.

Wendy Johnson began her career in the Royal Air Force, before joining the NHS at the former Princess Margaret Hospital in Swindon 19 years ago. She has since worked in a number of prominent leadership roles within Great Western Hospitals, currently as head of safeguarding and mental health.

Through specialist education and training for staff, carefully designed wards and adaptations to care, she has ensured that the unique and often complex needs of the most vulnerable patients are consistently met, said the trust.

Last year, she led the production of an educational video to raise awareness among NHS staff of the different needs of patients with learning disabilities and/or autism. It is now being used by NHS organisations across the country and in undergraduate student nurse training.

Previously, Ms Johnson led the transformation of an older person’s ward to create a dementia friendly environment. One of the most significant changes was the matt floor, which led to a 44% reduction of falls in the immediate six months after installation.

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson

She said: “I feel honoured and humbled to have been chosen for this accolade and accept the award in recognition of the important contribution nursing can make in delivering high quality care.

“You can’t achieve anything in healthcare without others, and I welcome the opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of the many dedicated colleagues who have worked alongside me to improve the care experience for some of our most vulnerable patients,” she said.

She added: “It’s great to have an opportunity to put nursing in the spotlight and have the chance to talk about the difference we can all make”.

Julie Marshman, chief nurse at Great Western Hospitals, said: “Wendy’s commitment to ensuring all patients are treated with respect, dignity and compassion at all times is really admirable. We are so grateful for the specialist expertise and knowledge she brings to the care in this hospital.”

Commenting on the list, Royal College of Nursing chief executive and general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “Nurses do so much to serve the public working within the NHS, community services, mental health services, and the armed forces.

“It’s wonderful to see this work being honoured today and the work of former nurses who’ve gone into influential senior positions such Cara Ann Charles-Bark who as Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust chief executive dealt with the fallout of the Novichok poisoning incident in the city,” she said.

“I extend my warmest congratulations to all the nurses who’ve made a difference in diverse clinical areas that make a real impact on the lives of patients like organ donation and cancer treatment,” said Dame Donna.

She added: ”They stand as an inspiration to their colleagues everywhere and, I hope, to young people who are considering a career in nursing.”


Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE)

  • Laura Elizabeth Lee – chief executive, Maggie’s. For services to patients with cancer.

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

  • Group Capt Teresa Anne Griffiths, OBE, ARRC – Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service.

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

  • Maureen Bell – formerly nurse consultant for vulnerable children, NHS Ayrshire and Arran. For services to Child Protection. (Johnstone, Renfrewshire)
  • Tonia Dawson – Macmillan clinical lead, East of England Cancer Alliance. For services to Nursing and to People affected by Cancer. (Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk)
  • Professor Sarah Elizabeth Hewlett – emerita professor of rheumatology nursing, University of the West of England. For services to People with Arthritis and to Nursing Research. (Somerset)
  • Dr Jacqueline Ann McKenna, MBE – formerly director of nursing, professional leadership, NHS Improvement. For services to Nursing. (Kent)

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

  • Shibu Chacko – specialist nurse, NHS Blood and Transplant and Community Volunteer. For services to the NHS. (Chatham, Kent)
  • Cara Charles-Barks – chief executive, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. For services to the NHS
  • Rita Ciccu Moore – deputy director of nursing, NHS Forth Valley. For services to Nursing and to the NHS Forth Valley Nurses Choir. (Dunblane, Stirling and Falkirk)
  • Anita Elizabeth Darlison – consultant nurse, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and head of Services, Mesothelioma UK. For services to Cancer Research and to Patients. (Loughborough, Leicestershire)
  • Kathryn Denise Ellaway – formerly designated nurse, Safeguarding National Safeguarding Team. For services to Safeguarding in Wales. (Newport)
  • Alison Leary, chair of healthcare and workforce modelling, London South Bank University. For services to spectator safety and medical care.
  • Julieth Naomi Minnis – nurse. For services to health.
  • Philippa Jane Nightingale – chief nurse and executive director, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Trustee, Rennie Grove Hospice Care. For services to Midwifery. (Marsworth, Buckinghamshire)
  • Suzanne Louise Poley – consultant nurse for substance misuse, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. For services to Nursing. (Cardiff)
  • Gillian Claire Taylor – Macmillan nurse consultant, London North West Healthcare NHS Trust. For services to Colorectal Cancer Nursing. (St Albans, Hertfordshire)
  • Ruth Jane Walker – executive nurse director, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. For services to Nursing in the NHS. (Crickhowell, Powys)
  • Janis Ann Wright – specialist nurse orthopaedics, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust. For services to Nursing. (Ipswich, Suffolk)

Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

  • Winifred Taggart Chinery – nurse, Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. For services to Nursing and to Patient Safety. (Southend on Sea, Essex)
  • Patricia Diane Clarke – diabetes specialist nurse, Primary Integrated Community Services Ltd. For services to Diabetes Care. (Averham, Nottinghamshire)
  • Jean Dunn – nurse, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust. For services to Nursing. (Consett, Durham)
  • Wendy Johnson – head of adult safeguarding and mental health, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. For services to Nursing. (Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire)
  • Alison Jane Kitson – district nurse, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. For services to Nursing. (Penrith, Cumbria)
  • Kathleen Emily Lee – nurse, Medident, Muscat, Oman. For services to the health and welfare of British nationals overseas.
  • Karen Mitchell – lead cancer nurse, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. For services to Cancer Patients and to Nursing. (Kidlington, Oxfordshire)
  • Mary Isobel Nunn – formerly nursing officer, Tiverton Division, St John Ambulance. For voluntary service to First Aid Provision in Devon. (Crediton, Devon)
  • Emily May Robertson – ward sister older person’s care, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. For services to Nursing. (Fallowfield, Greater Manchester)

Royal Red Cross

  • Lt Col Deborah Louise Inglis, TD. VR – Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, Army Reserve



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Readers' comments (2)

  • also congratulation to Gillian Addy from Locala Huddersfield for being awarded Queens Nurse!

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  • Congratulations and thanks to all the underpaid overworked nurses who prop up the NHS day in day out.

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