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New Year MBE for services to child mental health

Congratulations to Dr Isobel Heyman, a psychiatrist and leading consultant on the Cambridge Children’s Hospital project - awarded an MBE for her outstanding contribution to child and adolescent mental health services.

Dr Isobel Heyman
Dr Isobel Heyman

Dr Heyman is one of dozens of NHS staff recognised in this year’s New Year Honours list ahead of the health service's 75th birthday. 

The honours have been awarded to an array of NHS staff including front line doctors and nurses, hospital volunteers and leaders in the world beating Covid vaccination programme.

I am deeply appreciative of this honour. With the group-effort of skilled clinical teams, it is an enormous privilege to care for children and families experiencing the most difficult of times.

Dr Isobel Heyman
Cambridge Children's Hospital clinicians
Dr Isobel Heyman with some of the Cambridge Children's Hospital team at the County Show 2022

Dr Heyman's work focusing on the interface of physical and mental health is nationally and internationally recognised, alongside her research (over 200 publications), clinical practice, teaching, leadership and strategic advice.

She received Royal College of Psychiatrists - Psychiatrist of the Year 2015.

Her Psychological Medicine Team at GOSH was awarded CAMHS team of the year 2018 and her drop-in mental health project ‘The Lucy Booth’ won British Medical Journal ‘Mental Health Team of the Year’ award in 2021.

While continuing to work as a consultant and Honorary Professor at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and at the UCL Institute for Child Health, Isobel Heyman joined the Cambridge Children’s Hospital team last year.

Dr Heyman said:

“The Cambridge Children’s Hospital project, working to fully integrate physical and mental health care for the first time, means more to me in many ways than anything I’ve done before.

"Pulling together the treatment of physical and mental health is something that I’ve have been passionate about for my whole career.”

Cambridge Children's Hospital
Architect image of Cambridge Children's Hospital

Cambridge Children’s Hospital will be the first specialist children’s hospital for the East of England, unique in treating children and young people’s physical and mental health together, under one roof, alongside world-leading research into childhood disease, diagnosis and treatment.

It represents a unique collaboration between the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) and the University of Cambridge, to develop a state-of-the-art children’s hospital delivering a truly innovative model of healthcare for children and young people.

Treating a child’s mental health and physical health together will lead to far better outcomes, not just for patients but also their families.

Dr Cathy Walsh, CPFT Interim Medical Director.

CPFT’s Interim Medical Director, Dr Cathy Walsh said:

“This is a fantastic and well-deserved honour for Isobel, but it also puts the vital work we are doing to design a fully integrated children’s hospital firmly in the spotlight.

Dr Heyman said none of the initiatives to put mental health research into clinical practice would have been possible without the collaboration of Tamsin Ford, professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Cambridge and member of the Cambridge Children’s Hospital team, and Professor Roz Shafran from the Institute of Child Health.

She added:

“There is much more to be done to ensure all young people receive the mental health care they need - so it is important and gratifying for child mental health to be recognised in an award.”

I want to congratulate all those receiving recognition today for their fantastic efforts.

NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard

NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, said:

"As the NHS heads into its 75th year, I am delighted to see the fantastic work of so many of my excellent health service colleagues reflected again in this year’s honours, including many for their work during the pandemic and the Covid-19 vaccination programme."