A host of doctors, nurses and other NHS staff feature in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
Dr Simpson has worked to improve medical training
Royal College of Anaesthetists president Dr Peter Simpson has been knighted after 36 years NHS service.
Jonathan Asbridge, head of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, also received a knighthood, while disability campaigner Jane Campbell became a dame.
Non-clinical staff including a hospital chaplain and head of the NHS Litigation Authority were also given honours.
Dr Simpson, a consultant anaesthetist at Bristol's Frenchay Hospital, said he felt his knighthood was in recognition of the work he had done trying to improve medical training and education.
He was one of the key officials behind the setting up of Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board last year, to promote the development of better standards across all specialities.
He said: "Medical training is essential for the future of medicine. I have tried throughout my career to help put something into this and develop the doctors of the future.
"But I also think the honour is a recognition of the importance anaesthetists play in acute patient care."
Mr Asbridge was the other senior NHS figure given a knighthood for services to the NHS. He has been president of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the profession's regulatory body, since 2001.
He has also been chief executive of the Barts and the London NHS Trust and, before moving into management, worked as a critical care nurse.
He said: "However, delighted I am personally to have received such an honour, in accepting this knighthood I do so on behalf of all my colleagues at the NMC and in the nursing and midwifery professions who dedicate their lives to delivering high quality patient care."
Ms Campbell, who became an MBE in the 2001 Queen's birthday honours, has become a dame this time for services to social care and disabled people.
She spent nearly five years as chairman of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, set up in 2001 to promote good practice, before stepping down earlier this year.
Before that she co-founded the National Centre for Independent Living.
She has also written books on disability and is a commissioner for the Disability Rights Commission.
But a number of lower profile health professionals have also been given honours.
Thomas Burns, professor of psychiatry at Oxford University Medical School, was made a CBE, while North Glamorgan NHS Trust breast cancer nurse Diane Jehu became an MBE.
Stephen Walker, head of the NHS Litigation Authority, which effectively acts as the insurance body for the health service, became an CBE.
And Father Cedric Stanley, the chaplain at Middlesex's Harefield Hospital, was made an MBE for his work counselling patients and comforting the bereaved.