Staff Recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours


Congratulations to two members of staff who received recognition in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list announced at the weekend Mrs Marisa McFarlane and Dr Fiona Jane Stewart.


Mrs. Marisa McFarlane, Macmillan Paediatric Cancer Nurse specialist, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust received an MBE for services to nursing in Northern Ireland.  Marisa’s role as Paediatric Macmillan Nurse was created in 1996. It evolved in response to the need for consistent support for children with cancer and a link between hospital and community throughout their treatment or during palliative care. At that point in time there was no paediatric palliative care services in Northern Ireland.

Presently an important part of Marisa’s role involves acting as a resource and advisor to the child and family. A major element of the work consists of liaising with local community based professionals, the hospital team and voluntary agencies. During palliative care the service is instrumental in putting together a package of coordinated care and offering specialised knowledge and expertise.

Mrs Marisa McFarlane speaking about the award said “I am truly honoured to have been given this award and will continue to recognise and keep returning to the core concept, that central to all my work is the child and the family”.

Dr Fiona Jane Stewart Consultant in Medical Genetics, Queen's University Belfast also received an MBE for services to genetics in Northern Ireland.

Dr Stewart has been a consultant at the Trust since 1995 and had been clinical team leader from 2001 until December 2012. She is also an honorary senior lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast. As well as her clinical practice in Belfast she chairs the Genetic Testing and Evaluation working group for the UKGTN. She is also very involved in the area of Rare diseases and is involved in the work to help implement the Department of Health’s plan to implement the European directive on rare diseases.

Speaking about the award, Dr Stewart said: “I was very excited to get the award. Although it sounds like a cliché I really did think it was a tax letter as the envelope had OHMS at the top! It’s also really nice to see genetics being recognised. It is particularly important this year as the various UK Departments of health are tasked with implementing the European Directive on Rare Diseases – many of which have a genetic basis.”

Colm Donaghy, Belfast Trust Chief Executive said “I am delighted Marisa and Fiona have been honoured, they are both very deserving and excellent examples of the dedicated and committed staff in the Belfast Trust”.

We would also like to congratulate John Compton Chief Executive, Health and Social Care Board on being awarded the CBE for services to healthcare in Northern Ireland and Dr Janet Mary Little Consultant, from the Public Health Agency on receiving an OBE for services to healthcare in Northern Ireland.