GIRFT paediatric surgery lead awarded OBE in New Year Honours

Professor Simon Kenny, the clinical lead for Getting It Right First Time’s paediatric general surgery and urology workstream, has been made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2024 New Year Honour list.

Professor Kenny, who is also NHS England’s national clinical director for children and young people, receives the honour for services to paediatric surgery.

He has been a consultant paediatric and neonatal surgeon at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool since 2003, introducing advanced minimally invasive paediatric surgery.

In 2021, his GIRFT national report into services for paediatric general surgery and urology in England was published following an 18-month nationwide review, which comprised deep dive visits to 89 specialist and high-volume trusts meeting with frontline clinicians, nurses, finance staff and managers.

The report made a series of recommendations to help make a difference in the lives of young patients, including improving the delivery of surgery for children and babies who need operations for the rarest and most complex conditions, reducing the rate of unnecessary appendicectomy operations, improving knowledge of testicular torsion and phimosis, and creating more child-friendly environments in hospitals.

In his GIRFT role, Professor Kenny has gone onto to develop guidance, pathways and tools to drive forwards his tireless work to make improvements in children’s surgery. Among the most recent are the release of the Summary Paediatric Indicator Table (SPaedIT) data tool, bringing together provider-level data summarising demand, capacity, flow and outcomes in one place in an easily-accessible dashboard, and the publication of concise guidance – Closing the gap: Actions to reduce waiting times for children and young people – offering ten actions to help reduce waiting times for children.

Professor Kenny is among dozens of NHS staff – nurses, doctors and surgeons – on the King’s 2024 New Year Honour list.

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said: “As we approach the end of a year in which the NHS has marked major milestones and made real progress for patients, while also dealing with unprecedented challenges, it is wonderful to see so many of our colleagues honoured for the contribution they’ve made.

“Whether leading improvements in nursing, mental health and paediatric surgery, tackling health inequalities or delivering life-saving critical care, the difference that each of those honoured has made for patients is immense.

“I know millions of people across the country will join me in expressing our gratitude to them, and to all of our staff, who continue to go above and beyond every day to deliver the best possible care for patients.”

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