Letter: Honours anomalies

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Prime Minister proposes that the public should nominate those to be considered for honours. Through the appropriate channels of the Department of Health and the PPS of the Prime Minister I have contributed to the citation of three persons for honours. One was president of the Royal College of Surgeons and contributed major advances to cancer surgery; one dedicated her life to improving the care of burnt children; one has probably done more than any other living person to improve the cure rate for cancer treated by radiotherapy. None has received any award.

By contrast we see rewarded with knighthoods and peerages those who grow rich in the pursuit of their distinctions or donate their shareholders' or trade union members' money to political parties. We see dameships and knighthoods given to excellent but part-time, short-service regional health authority chairmen; senior health service administrators cream off the CBEs.

As one who has done as the Prime Minister seems to wish and drawn attention to exceptional service, I am frustrated by failure to see this contribution rewarded by some honour. How will what is proposed by the Prime Minister change this most unsatisfactory state of affairs?

Yours faithfully,


London, W1