Northwick Park Hospital doctor receives OBE from Prince Charles
- Credit: Press Association Images
A critical care doctor recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours has received his OBE from Prince Charles.
Dr Ganesh Suntharalingam, former president of the Intensive Care Society and a doctor at Northwick Park Hospital, received the honour for his services to critical care throughout the pandemic.
He said it was a “real privilege” to receive the award, adding, “this is very much on behalf of everyone working in critical care across the country,” and his colleagues at the Northwest London Hospital Trust.
Dr Suntharalingam works on the intensive care ward at Northwick Park Hospital, meaning he has cared for the sickest patients through the worst of the pandemic.
“Northwick Park and Ealing were hit very early on in the pandemic,” he said.
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“At peak, we were admitting somewhere between four and six patients a day just to intensive care, which is very unusual. And obviously [there were] hundreds of patients in the hospital as a whole.”
In his former role as president of the Intensive Care Society, Dr Suntharalingam was also responsible for coordinating and offering guidance to intensive care units nationwide.
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He said he initially thought the email from the Cabinet Office, inviting him to receive an OBE, was a prank by a friend. It came while he was on holiday in the Lake District with his wife and their border collie.
“It came very out of the blue. I just happened to look at my work email on my phone, which obviously you’re not supposed to do when you’re having a break.”
As Covid cases rise rapidly and most remaining restrictions are lifted on July 19, Dr Suntharalingam urged Londoners to be cautious to avoid another severe wave that would put pressure on the NHS.
He also said he welcomed London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s decision to require masks on the city’s transport services.
“Everyone’s very desperate to get normal elective services back running, [to] look after people with every condition, not just Covid. But if we get large numbers of Covid cases coming in it becomes unavoidable that other things get impacted.
“So it’s something for people to think about when they decide what to do, how to do it, whether to wear a mask.”