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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 December, 2003, 00:09 GMT
Medical safety experts honoured
Professor Alasdair Breckenridge, courtesy of the MHRA
Professor Alasdair Breckenridge receives a knighthood
Doctors who play a key role in ensuring British patients receive safe medical treatment are among those named in the New Year's Honours.

Professor Alasdair Breckenridge, chairman of the body which advises ministers on the safety of medicines, has been given a knighthood.

Dr Maureen Baker, a senior member of the National Patient Safety Agency, has been made a CBE.

Many others were named in recognition of their efforts as part of the NHS.

Leading role

Professor Breckenridge has played a leading role in monitoring the safety of medicines for many years.

A former professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Liverpool, he has been a member of the Department of Health's committee on safety of medicines (CSM) since 1984. He became chairman of the body in 1999.

I'm absolutely thrilled and very surprised
Dr Maureen Baker
In April, he became chairman of the new Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), formed by the merger of the old Medicines Control Agency and Medical Devices Agency.

Dr Baker, a senior member of the Royal College of GPs has also played a key role in trying to improve the safety of patients.

She is director of primary care at the National Patient Safety Agency and is responsible for trying to get GPs and practice nurses to take steps to reduce potential risks to patients.

"I've done a lot of work with the RCGP and I'm now with the NPSA. I guess the honour is for that work," she told BBC News Online.

"I'm absolutely thrilled and very surprised with the honour."

MMR recognition

Many other doctors were also named in the New Year's Honours.

Professor Elizabeth Miller of the Health Protection Agency has been made an OBE.

As head of the agency's immunisation department, she has been at the forefront of government efforts to convince parents that the controversial MMR vaccine is safe.

"I think the award is very much a recognition of the work done by the whole team," she told BBC News Online.

"Our unit took a lead role in the introduction of the meningitis vaccine in the UK. That was a big achievement and it has helped to save hundreds of lives.

"We are also actively involved in clinical trials testing new vaccines and new combinations of vaccines for use as part of the UK vaccination programme."

Rabbi Julia Neuberger, outgoing chief executive of the King's Fund think tank, is given a damehood.

Professor John Collinge, who has carried out extensive research into the human form of mad cow disease, was made a CBE.

Professor Andrew Ross Lorimer, former president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow, was also made a CBE.



Inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee Sir WWW
Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the world wide web, is knighted

Key awards
Other awards



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