30 December 2015
A nurse and two doctors from the Royal Free London have been honoured in the Queen's New Year's Honours 2016.
Dr Michael Jacobs, consultant in infectious diseases at the Royal Free London, has been awarded a knighthood for his work on Ebola.
Dr Jacobs, an internationally recognised expert, led the Royal Free London’s specialist infectious disease team who treated the three British nationals diagnosed with Ebola. The clinical care provided to all three individuals has been widely acknowledged as outstanding and included the use of certain experimental treatments for the first time in the world.
He has also overseen the clinical care of individuals deemed at high risk of developing Ebola and devised drug-based strategies to prevent the development of the disease. These innovative approaches to care have advanced worldwide knowledge of treatment. Dr Jacobs has also provided expert advice to a number of national and international Ebola advisory committees.
Dr Michael Jacobs said: “I’m honoured and humbled by this award. It is the nature of honours systems that they recognise individuals, but this truly was a team effort and I can’t praise too highly my exceptional, dedicated and skilful colleagues at the Royal Free. I am particularly grateful for the tremendous support and opportunities that they have given me.
“This has been a devastating two years for Ebola-affected countries in West Africa. The patients who we cared for at the Royal Free London exemplify the extraordinary courage and humanity of everyone who went to West Africa to help with the international aid effort. We are privileged and proud to have played a small part in the NHS humanitarian response to this medical emergency.”
Dr Daniel Martin, consultant in critical care medicine at the Royal Free London, has also been honoured with an OBE for his work in the hospital’s high level isolation unit where Ebola patients were treated.
Dr Martin designed and wrote the clinical protocols to ensure the safe provision of critical care in this potentially hazardous setting. When these interventions were needed for Ebola patients, he personally carried out the necessary procedures, proving they could be undertaken safely in this complex and challenging environment.
Dr Daniel Martin said: “It is a privilege to have been recognised in this way and I am thrilled to be receiving the award. This is a phenomenal recognition for everyone at the Royal Free Hospital. The care we deliver to patients with Ebola and other contagious diseases is a huge team effort that would not be possible without the hard work and determination of every single person who has contributed to our successes.”
Finally, Samantha Swinglehurst, lead nurse in specialist practice at the Royal Free London child and adolescent mental health services, has been awarded an MBE.
Samantha, who has worked at the trust for 11 years, was instrumental in setting up the Royal Free London’s child and adolescent eating disorders intensive service four years ago to prevent young people with the distressing and life-threatening eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, from having to stay in hospital for many months. All the research evidence suggests that residential in-patient eating disorder units do not lead to better outcomes than community treatment, have high rates of relapse and re-admission, and mean that young people are away from their family, friends and school for a long time.
The service ensures that over 200 young patients a year are offered an individually-tailored treatment plan delivered by a multi-disciplinary team including therapists, specialist nurses, consultant psychiatrists and paediatricians, who work with both the patients and their families to achieve the best outcomes.
Samantha Swinglehurst said: “This is an extraordinary honour. I see myself as a cog in a machine – I can only do what I do because of my colleagues who every day display outstanding commitment and professionalism. I’m so proud that nursing is at the forefront of this work.”
Notes to editors
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Images: Dr Michael Jacobs, consultant in infectious diseases (top), Dr Daniel Martin, consultant in critical care medicine (middle), and Samantha Swinglehurst, lead nurse in specialist practice (bottom).
About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare.
The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver and kidney transplantation, haemophilia, renal care, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, Parkinson's disease, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.