A woman who has dedicated the last decade to improving health in Blackpool has described how it feels to be honoured by the Queen.
Dr Amanda Doyle, chief clinical officer of NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (GGC) has been awarded an Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, recognising her contribution to primary care.
She said: “I am thrilled.
“There are a lot of people who have put in a lot of hard work to develop primary care in Blackpool, and while it is very nice for me to be personally recognised it’s important to remember others have put in a lot of effort. Primary care is definitely a team job.”
Primary care has seen a lot of changes in the last few years, and now has a far greater involvement by GPs and other commissioners in decisions affecting people’s health care.
Dr Doyle said: “I have been a GP in Bloomfield for 18 years, was medical director of the Primary Care Trust (PCT) and am now chief clinical officer of the CCG. I have been involved in local health care in one way or another for quite some time.”
While leading the PCT, Dr Doyle played a pivotal role in the development of three state-of-the-art primary care centres that revolutionised health services across Blackpool and paved the way for similar centres across the country.
She is also co-chairman of the Leadership Group of NHS Clinical Commissioners, regularly contributing to the regional and national health agenda.
She said: “I think now there is a much wider range of services available to people in Blackpool, but the biggest thing they will notice is the improvement to local health buildings.
“We have three large primary care centres – one in Moor Park, one in South Shore and one on Whitegate Drive.
“They give the public greater access to lots of services on one site and it makes it a lot easier for these services to work together.
“It think that’s the biggest change in Blackpool.”
Dr Doyle does not shy away from the fact Blackpool has some very serious health issues, but says a lot of work is being done to improve the state of the town’s health.
She said: “Blackpool still has very poor health and life expectancy compared to other parts of the country.
“But things are improving. We have carried out several campaigns including encouraging people to check their blood pressure and lung health which has seen more people diagnosed and receiving treatment earlier.
“We are making a difference, but I know we have a long way to go.”
Dr Doyle, who is married with four sons, says attending the ceremony to receive her OBE will be one of the proudest moments of her career.
“To be honoured in this way comes as a wonderful surprise – it is not something you ever expect,” she added.