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King’s clinicians recognised in New Year’s Honours

Critical care consultant Dr Tom Best, and former King's midwife Jill Demilew receive MBEs

Dr Tom Best

A serving King’s doctor and a former King’s midwife are two of the NHS workers recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for 2021.

Dr Tom Best, Clinical Director for Critical Care, has been awarded an MBE for services to critical care, particularly for his work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Best was instrumental in ensuring the Trust was able to safely manage the high volume of patients requiring intensive care during the first wave in April 2020. King’s had among the highest number of acutely unwell patients in the country. The intensive care consultant recently featured in the Channel 4 documentary, Surviving Covid, which charted the lives of six patients who had spent many months in critical care following a Covid diagnosis.

Jill Demilew, former Consultant Midwife at King’s, has been recognised with an MBE for services to midwifery. During her career, Jill had helped to address health inequalities and improve access to healthcare for the most vulnerable women in south London. Through her work, Jill has applied different models of care within the community to get the very best outcomes for the most disadvantaged.

During her time at King’s, Jill was fundamental in implementing continuity of carer models so that women have the same group of midwives supporting them throughout their pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal care. The model established at King’s has been used as an exemplar across the South West Local Maternity System.

Professor Clive Kay, King’s Chief Executive, was among the first to congratulate the recipients. He said, “All of us at King’s are very proud of Tom and Jill for the hard work and dedication that has led to them being recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours. They have made significant contributions in their fields and I’m delighted it has been acknowledged at a national level. Many congratulations to them both.”

The New Year Honours List includes 1,239 recipients, recognised for their extraordinary contributions in all four nations of the United Kingdom.

Public sector workers make up 14.8% of the list and include firefighters, medical professionals, teachers, police officers and local government workers - all of whom are being recognised for making a huge individual impact, particularly in the response to COVID-19.