Three members of staff from Guy’s and St Thomas’ have been recognised in the New Year Honours List.
Dr Joel Meyer, an intensive care consultant, and Samantha Salaver, head of dental nursing, were both made an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). Andrea Williams-McKenzie, Deputy Chief People Officer, was made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) from her time at HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
Dr Meyer has worked at St Thomas’ Hospital since 2015 and was recognised for his services to the NHS during COVID-19.
Together with Professor Louise Rose, a professor of critical care nursing at King’s College London who was also made an MBE, Dr Meyer set up the Life Lines project in March 2020.
They joined forces with Michael Paquet, the CEO of Aetonix, to create a secure virtual visiting platform for families whose loved ones were in intensive care units.
Life Lines has supported more than 135,000 virtual visits and over 1 million call minutes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1,400 4G enabled Android devices have also been provided to 180 NHS hospitals across the UK. Life Lines continues to develop and evaluate digital solutions to support patients, families and clinical teams throughout the intensive care journey.
Dr Meyer said: “I feel amazed to have been nominated for this exceptional honour. At the start of the pandemic, when Professor Louise Rose and I came up with Life Lines, a way of keeping families and patients connected virtually, we did not anticipate the speed, scale of impact and sustained success of the project.
“This award is an opportunity to recognise the extraordinary efforts, goodwill and ongoing contributions of the whole Life Lines team, partners and collaborators.”
Samantha Salaver has worked at Guy’s Hospital since 2006 and was recognised for services to dental nursing. She joined the Trust as a sister in the dental directorate before becoming a dental matron and then head of dental nursing.
During her career, Samantha chaired the Association of Dental Hospitals dental nurses’ group, and she worked with NHS England to set up talent management for dental nurses.
She helped set up the Dental Nursing Academy for apprentices at Guy’s and St Thomas’, and is currently developing a specialist dental nursing degree.
Samantha said: “I was overwhelmed and surprised to hear that I was to receive such an honour as this. I work with an amazing team of dental nurses and others and have been privileged to be supported by Guy’s and St Thomas’. I have had the opportunity to develop the future of dental nursing, and I am very proud to be a dental nurse.”
Andrea Williams-McKenzie has worked for Guy’s and St Thomas’ as Deputy Chief People Officer for a year. She was recognised for public service from her time at the Courts and Tribunals Service.
Andrea has worked in public service for around 30 years, including the civil service for 16 years and local authorities, as well as the voluntary sector.
Andrea said: “It was pretty emotional and overwhelming to get the recognition, particularly when you work in HR. I’m very grateful to be recognised in this way.
“My parents came to England from Jamaica as part of the Windrush generation – they were very resilient and my mother was a cleaner at St Thomas’ Hospital so it’s really significant for me to receive this CBE while working for Guy's and St Thomas’.”