Two Synergi board members honoured with CBEs

Two of the Synergi Collaborative Centre’s Advisory Board Members have been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2018.

Ms Marie Gabriel, Chair of East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) was recognised for services to the NHS and dedication to promoting equality while Professor JS Bamrah, a senior consultant psychiatrist in Manchester and an Honorary Reader at University of Manchester, was honoured for his services to mental health, diversity and the NHS.

Gabriel, who was born at Mile End Hospital and grew up in the East End of London, said: “I would like to dedicate this award to all the NHS staff that I have worked with, particularly the Windrush generation, which included my dad who travelled from St Lucia to start a new life in England. I am immensely proud of my East London and Caribbean heritage and proud of the contribution the Windrush generation and their descendants have made to a modern, effective and diverse NHS.”

Bamrah said: “I’m delighted and privileged to have been given such an honour by Her Majesty the Queen, especially as it comes on the 70th anniversary of the NHS. Mental health is increasingly gaining a better profile in the health services, and the media, so I’m especially pleased that my work and the causes I represent have gained such an accolade. My grateful thanks to the Synergi Advisory Board and other organisations for all the support I’ve had in past years.”

Professor Kamaldeep Bhui, Director of the Synergi Collaborative Centre, added: “We are terribly proud as it is such a deserved recognition of Marie and JS’ commitment to tackling health inequalities, and their incredibly courageous leadership of the NHS in a compassionate, respectful and productive way.”

“Their work with professional and government bodies tackles racism and inequality, to ultimately improve patient and public health and wellbeing. These intellectual giants are grounded in the lived experiences of our communities, and are openly tackling discrimination and stigma, racism and social exclusion through professional, clinical and political networks, at a time of austerity. We talk much about collaborative leadership, a skill they both personify.”

As Chair of ELFT, Gabriel has led it to become the only Trust in London judged by the Care Quality Commission to be ‘outstanding’ and the only ‘outstanding’ mental health and community health Trust in the country. In 2010 Gabriel was awarded Freedom of the London Borough of Newham and was recognised on the inaugural Health Service Journal (HSJ) ‘Inspirational Women’ List.

Bamrah also holds many other awards and commendations, including the HSJ award for being one of 100 BME pioneer health leaders in the UK, an Association Medal from the BMA and acknowledged by 10 Downing Street as one of 100 doctors for providing a ‘Distinguished service to the NHS’.

Report by Joy Francis