Betty Hutchon (L) and Emily Hills (R), neonatal occupational therapistBetty Hutchon, head paediatric occupational therapist, has received a neonatal therapy pioneer award from the National Association of Neonatal Therapists.

Betty, who is also a consultant neurodevelopmental therapist and honorary lecturer at University College London, was recognised as one of the very first therapists to work in a neonatal intensive care unit and for her contribution to teaching other healthcare workers about developmental care in the UK. Betty worked to establish one of the first comprehensive developmental follow up programmes for pre-term infants and their families, which has now been replicated across the UK. She also co-authored the content for the first course on teaching therapists about early intervention with babies with brain damage.

The award was created by the association to honour neonatal occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech-language pathologists who contributed to the advancement of neonatal therapy.  

Betty said: “I’m very grateful to my colleagues in the field who took the time to submit the nomination, it was a very great honour to be recognised. I am the first person to have been given this award outside of America so it is especially positive in that it demonstrates that the UK has neonatal therapy services to be proud of.”

Image: Betty Hutchon (L) and Emily Hills (R), neonatal occupational therapist


Notes to editors

Media contacts: or call 020 7371 7740

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, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, haemophilia, renal, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.

In July 2014 Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital became part of the Royal Free London.