2010 New Year Honours

Originally posted 07/02/2011

Dec 31, 2010 New Year Honours: Knighthood for war casualties doctor

31 December 10 00:30

The doctor in charge of treating injured soldiers flown back from Afghanistan and Iraq has received a knighthood in the New Year's Honours.

Professor Keith Porter, from the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Birmingham, said it was a "great honour" to be recognised.

Professor Robin Murray, an expert in schizophrenia, is also knighted.

GPs, nurses and occupational therapists from around the UK are also honoured, along with a number of NHS chiefs.

Prof Porter's knighthood, for services to the Armed Forces, is a recognition of how much the care of injured soldiers has improved in the past 10 years.

Critical care

A consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and the UK's only professor of clinical traumatology, Prof Porter has been leading the treatment of complex battle injuries.  His work has led to improved survival rates and more rapid recovery for injured service personnel.  He said: "I am privileged to be the civilian lead over a service that is highly-tuned and fully engaged in the care of injured soldiers.  I am proud of the efforts of the military and NHS teams that work side-by-side to deliver excellent outcomes for patients who previously had non-survivable injuries."

Prof Porter, 61, explained that in his work he deals with injuries in military patients that bear no comparison with normal wounds.  "We are seeing multiple injuries from firearms and explosive devices which require multiple operations and critical care."

But the prognosis for many of these patients, he says, is much better than it would have been.

"In Birmingham there are cases of patients surviving when they wouldn't have three years ago," Professor Porter said.

He was involved in looking after patients in the first Gulf War and admits that military care, from wounding to discharge and rehabilitation, has improved dramatically.

"Our patients come back here now, about 36 hours post-injury, invariably in the best possible physiological condition they can be."


Robin Murray, professor of psychiatry at King's College London, receives a knighthood for his work in schizophrenia research.

Based at the Institute of Psychiatry, Professor Murray has done much to combat the stigma of mental illness.

Professor Lewis Ritchie, honorary consultant in public health, receives a knighthood for services to the NHS in Scotland.

Also honoured, with a knighthood for services to healthcare, is the chief executive of Guy's and St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust, Ronald Kerr.

Dr Brian Patterson, former chairman of the British Medical Association in Northern Ireland, has been made an OBE in the New Year's honours list for services to health care.

Dr Paul Darragh, current BMA chairman in Northern Ireland, paid tribute.

He said: "The contribution that Brian Patterson has made to the health service in Northern Ireland has been immense, through both his dedication as a GP for over 30 years and in his contribution to the BMA."