Knighthood for man who tamed NHS debt
A PETERBOROUGH grandfather has been given one of the country’s highest accolades after receiving a knighthood on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Keith Pearson (63), of Loch Fyne Close, Orton Northgate, was recognised for his contribution to the NHS and made a Knight Bachelor in the list, which was announced today.
His achievements over his 20-yearslong career in the NHS include turning around a £300 million debt at NHS East of England, where he was chairman between 2006 and 2010, into a £160 million surplus.
Speaking to The Evening Telegraph from France yesterday, Sir Keith thanked his supportive family including his wife Christine, son Julian and grandchildren Megan (9) and Reece (6).
He said: “I am surprised and deeply honoured to receive a knighthood for services to the NHS.
“I was told in May that I had been recommended for the honour and my family were thrilled, though we’ve had to keep quiet about it until now.”
Also among the honours was Flight Sergeant Steven Heywood, of No 2 Mechanical Squadron at RAF Wittering, who was informed that he was to be awarded an MBE while he was stationed at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.
The 40-year-old was honoured for raising more than £35,000 for charity while based at Joint Force Command Headquarters in Brunssum, Netherlands.
He said: “I am shocked and staggered at receiving this award but I am also extremely pleased and honoured.
“I have done this sort of thing for some time because I find the results hugely rewarding and I never sought or expected anything else for my efforts.”
Another MBE recipient is Stamford’s Anne Hale (70), of Adelaide Street, who was put forward for the honour by husband John and other friends.
Mrs Hale is a stalwart of the voluntary sector in Stamford lending her piano playing talents to the town’s Amateur Musical Society and Gilbert and Sullivan Society. She has also worked at Stamford’s Cancer Research UK shop for the past 13 years.
A part-time teacher at Stamford High School for ten years, she also runs weekly coffee mornings for the United Reformed Church, which each year raises an incredible £5,000 to boost coffers at the church.
She said: “I was a little bit embarrassed when I found out, I just do a little bit for charity, but it is nice to be recognised for it.”
Local government worker Robert Bell (60) was made a Member of the Victorian Order for his work as the Lord Lieutenant’s Officer for Lincolnshire, organising royal visits and public engagements on behalf of the current Lord Lieutenant Tony Worth.
Mr Bell said: “I’m very proud and hugely honoured to be recognised by Her Majesty the Queen.
“I have spoken to Mr Worth who was very complimentary and pleased for me.”
Also on the list, was former New College Stamford principal Miles Dibsdall, who was awarded an OBE for his services to further and higher education.
Mr Dibsdall now works at Telford College in Edinburgh.
(From left) Steven Heywood, Miles Dibsdall and Robert Bell who are among those on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.