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Medical reformers knighted
Professor Sir Ian Kennedy
Professor Ian Kennedy chaired the Bristol babies inquiry
Two men with pivotal roles in medicine's bid to rehabilitate itself in the wake of a series of damaging scandals have been knighted in the New Year Honours.

Professor Ian Kennedy is the man who chaired the high profile inquiry into the deaths of babies undergoing heart surgery at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Professor Sir Graeme Catto
GMC chief Professor Graeme Catto
His report, published earlier this year, condemned the patrician 'doctor knows best' culture among senior NHS staff, and warned the mistakes at Bristol could be happening elsewhere in the NHS.

It made a raft of recommendations for reform. Ministers are expected to give their detailed response early in the New Year.

Also knighted is Professor Graeme Catto, the man who will play the lead role in attempting the restore medicine's battered image.

Turbulent times

Professor Catto was elected as president of the doctor's regulatory body, the General Medical Council in November.

The Scottish academic faces a tough task in raising public confidence following not only the Bristol tragedy, but a series other damaging scandals.

Sir Michael Buckley
NHS Ombudsman Michael Buckley
These include the widespread practice of retaining the organs of children who died in hospital, the incompetence of gynaecologists Rodney Ledward and Richard Neale and the grim exploits of mass murderer Dr Harold Shipman.

Professor Catto's predecessor Sir Donald Irvine stood down six months early after a turbulent period in charge.

The GMC has been widely accused of not doing enough to protect the public from bad doctors.

Proposals to speed up the way complaints from the public are dealt with and to increase the influence of lay members of the council have recently been approved.

The importance which the government places on reforming medicine is further emphasised by the award of a knighthood to Michael Buckley, the NHS Ombudsman.

Medical chief

Professor Sir Liam Donaldson
Professor Donaldson leads public health policy
Professor Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer for England, is the fourth high profile figure from the world of medicine to receive a knighthood.

Professor Donaldson has a central role in promoting public health policy in England.

One of the key issues with which he has had to deal is the continuing public concern over the safety of the combined vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella.

Professor Donaldson has repeatedly stressed that the vaccine is safe, and warned that if parents do not get their children immunised they increase the risk of an epidemic of measles in the UK.

Also knighted are Brandon Gough, the businessman who previously chaired the body which decided on what doctors and dentists should be paid, and Professor Gabriel Horn, an expert in neurobiology from Cambridge.


Leading figures in the world of medicine to be awarded a CBE include:

  • Professor Agnes Adgey, a specialist in cardiac medicine from Lisburn, County Antrim
  • Jayne Barnes, director of nursing for the NHS Direct telephone help line in West Yorkshire
  • Professor Christine Beasley, director of nursing at the Department of Health
  • Professor Carol Black, medical director at The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, for her work on the arthritis disorder scleroderma
  • Valerie Gooding, chief executive, BUPA
  • Robert Heron, head of the Health Regulation Branch at the Department of Health
  • Col Stephen Howe, formerly of the Royal Army Medical Corps
  • Professor Eve Johnstone, an expert in psychiatry from Edinburgh University
  • Professor David Kerr, a cancer expert from Oxford University
  • Col Bridget McEvilly, formerly of the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps
  • Mr Kieran Moriarty, a consultant gastroenterologist at Royal Bolton Hospital
  • Janet Soo-Chung, chief executive, East Riding and Hull Health Authority
  • Christopher Spry, former chief executive, Greater Glasgow Health Board
  • Stephen Thornton, former chief executive, NHS Confederation
  • Pauline Werhun, director of nursing and clinical development, Sandwell Health Care Trust
See also:

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