Hospices’ role in Covid-19 response recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Categories: Care, Featured, and People & Places.

Six individuals who work or volunteer in hospices have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, postponed from June due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s awards had a big focus on efforts to combat the coronavirus. Among the recipients is Jayne Dingemans, Director of Patient Services at Garden House Hospice Care in Hertfordshire. Jayne has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her services to palliative care, particularly during Covid-19.

Throughout the pandemic Jayne has ensured care continued to be delivered to patients,  both in their homes and in the hospice’s IPU. At the same time she initiated a collaboration with local care homes, delivering specialist education and patient support to help them cope with the effects of the pandemic.

Hospice staff support the NHS

To support the NHS, she directed rapid retraining and redeployment of non-clinical hospice staff to the frontline, increasing the hospice’s assistance to local NHS services.  Meanwhile she has also been leading the team who run the hospice’s outreach services, supporting children and families as well as those who are isolated and frail.

Upon receiving the award she said: “I would never have expected to receive a reward for the work that I do and love every day as the Director of Patient Services at Garden House Hospice Care, even in the most unprecedented of times.

“The award is a testament to the staff and volunteers who have worked so hard to make this happen. The Coronavirus has highlighted the work that hospices do and have been doing across the country to support their community and the wider health and social care system.”

The other winners involved with hospices are:

  • Maria McGill, the CEO of Children’s Hospice Across Scotland, has received a CBE for services to palliative and end-of-life care, and children. She retired earlier this year, having dedicated almost all of her career to palliative and end of life care.
  • Karen Sugarman, Executive Vice President at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices in Surrey, has been given an MBE for services to life-limited young people and their families.
  • Patrick Farr has received a BEM for services to Children’s Hospices in South West England.
  • Muriel Barr, Secretary of the Ballymena Support Group for Northern Ireland Hospice, has received a BEM for services to the hospice. Muriel joined the support group as a way of giving something back to the hospice that care for her mother until she died.  In the last ten years she has helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for the charity.
  • Jane Lyons, Chair of The Friends of St Michael’s Hospice in Basingstoke has been awarded an MBE for services to charitable fundraising during Covid-19.

Honouring the end of life sector

There was also recognition for other people working in the palliative care and end of life sectors for their efforts to support the Covid-19 response. Belinda Marks, the Palliative Care Clinical Lead at Bradford District Care Foundation Trust was awarded a BEM for her work. Belinda has worked in the NHS for 39 years, dedicating the last 13 to palliative care.

Mohamed Omur, Co-founder and Board Member for External Affairs of the Muslim cemetery Gardens of Peace, has been awarded an MBE for services to the British Muslim community during Covid-19. Working alongside the rest of the Board and staff at Gardens of Peace, Mohamed became the public face of the cemetery in dealings with various regulatory bodies during the pandemic, to ensure that people’s religious requirements covering death and burial could be observed as much as possible without any risks to people’s health.

Also on the list of honourees is Hedley Finn, founder of Radio Lollipop International – whose volunteers provide care and entertainment for children in hospitals – and design consultant who has worked with the King’s Fund on spaces for people with life-limiting conditions. He’s received an OBE for his services to charity, having first received an MBE in 1992.

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