Two of the GIRFT programme’s leading clinical experts have received honours in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for their services to the NHS, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.
Professor Carrie MacEwen, one of Getting It Right First Time’s leads for ophthalmology, has been awarded a damehood for her work in the specialty and for her leadership during the pandemic response, while Dr Martin Allen, GIRFT’s clinical lead for respiratory medicine, is awarded a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to the NHS, particularly during COVID-19.
Professor MacEwen is a consultant ophthalmologist at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, and past Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, as well as ophthalmology specialty advisor to the chief medical officer of Scotland.
Alongside clinical lead Alison Davis and advisor Lydia Chang, they published their GIRFT national report for ophthalmology in December 2019, containing 22 recommendations for improving ophthalmology services across England. With the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the team subsequently published guidance on restarting and redesigning cataract pathways in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020 and on cataract hubs and high flow cataract lists in March 2021.
Dr Allen is a consultant physician at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, and NHS national specialty adviser for physiological measurements. He co-chairs the joint British Thoracic Society and Association for Respiratory, Technology and Physiology board, as well as the Respiratory Expert Working Group on coding for NHS Digital, the Royal College of Physicians’ commissioning group, and the British Thoracic Society and Respiratory Long Term Plan boards.
As GIRFT clinical lead for respiratory medicine, Dr Allen has carried out deep dives with trust teams across England, helping them to understand their data and work on improving services. The visits he made to trusts, in addition to other data, audits and a detailed survey have resulted in the forthcoming GIRFT national report for respiratory medicine, due to be published soon.
The report is expected to make a series of recommendations to help improve acute care and outcomes for respiratory patients and the experience for their carers in the context of COVID-19, while making better use of resources.