Northern Ireland

Frontline workers and senior civil servant at Department of Health recognised in New Year Honours list

Richard Pengelly, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health is among those recognised
Richard Pengelly, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health is among those recognised

FRONTLINE healthcare workers and support staff have received New Year honours' for their role in leading the fight against the pandemic.

Respiratory consultant, Wendy Anderson, and porter Jimmy Chapman (85) were among those recognised.

Ms Anderson is based in the Northern health trust and said a lot of pressure fell on respiratory teams over the past two years.

"I work with a fantastic team of respiratory colleagues, a team of seven in Antrim and nine if you include Causeway. When this was coming, we all worked on our protocols and stepped up our weekends and everybody had everybody's back," she said,

The most senior civil servant at the Department of Health, Richard Pengelly, was also awarded for his services and made a Companion of the Order of the Bath.

A chartered accountant by background, Mr Pengelly was appointed as permanent secretary to health in 2014 following more than 20 years' experience in senior civil service posts.

He told the PA news agency he was "absolutely thrilled" with the honour.

"I have spent a lot of time trying to get out and around the system, to hospitals, GP practices, community services, and every single time I go out I come away humbled by the compassion, dedication and just sheer effort of colleagues at all levels across the system.

"...Hopefully part of this award is recognition for those people that maybe aren't in the spotlight, but without them we wouldn't provide healthcare."

Lisburn Health Centre porter Jimmy Chapman was so surprised when he received his notification of the British Empire Medal that he originally thought the letter was a court summons.

He said: "I was really, really pleased that somebody thought that much of me to put me up for this award. I was delighted, over the moon. It is the first award I have ever got.

"It has all been a secret up to now, but it does mean a lot to me and it will mean a lot to my family."