A NUMBER of Cardiff and Penarth residents have been named in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Among them is Peter Thomas, force advisor on mental health, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours for services to policing.
Mr Thomas, who has been in his current role since 2009 – he served as a police officer for 30 years prior to that – said: “I am very humbled, and extremely proud to accept this award on behalf of South Wales Police.”
The mental health triage service was established in 2019, with nurse practitioners based within our Public Service Centre able to provide appropriate intervention at the first point of contact to people in mental health crisis or distress.
Engagement with the triage team increases confidence amongst officers, supporting them to use strategies in the management of mental health concerns, and puts the individual at the centre of the service, ensuring they can be appropriately safeguarded.
He added: “It’s been a success story for us. It’s a top-class service and has been everything we wanted, and more.”
Mr Thomas explained that incidents throughout his career in the police have stuck with him, including being one of the first officers on the scene of a murder in Cardiff in the early 1980s in which the perpetrator had a serious mental health illness.
And he has also been influenced by circumstances in his personal life.
He said: “In 2001 I lost my son Jonathan, who was studying to become a doctor at the medical school in Cardiff. He had mental health issues and he took his own life.
“It made me realise that if you can reach someone before they become seriously unwell, it can help save them and make a difference. That has driven me on.”
An award and bursary in Jonathan’s memory was established by Cardiff University’s School of Medicine.
He added: “When I was asked to take on the this role, I thought I could make a difference and that’s what I have tried to do, to raise the bar.
“I have always worked on the maxim that you give more than you take, and that’s what we have tried to do with this service.”
Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said: “I’m delighted that Peter has been recognised with an MBE. It’s testament to the hugely valuable and important work that has been carried out by the mental health triage team and by Peter – following a career with South Wales Police which began in 1979.
“His commitment and dedication to ensuring the best possible service is available for those in need is an inspiration. Da iawn, Peter.”
Also recognised in the list is Tracy Myhill, previous Swansea Bay University Health Board and Welsh Ambulance Services Chief Executive, who has been awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to NHS Wales.
She said: “I’ve been so privileged to have had such an extraordinary and rewarding career – from receptionist to Chief Executive – working with so many exceptional and inspirational people.
“I have been, and remain, passionate about improving the health of the population and health services for the people of Wales and whilst now retired from the NHS, I remain dedicated to supporting people and organisations to be the best they can be.
“And to every receptionist out there, I say you too can achieve anything you dare to dream of.”
Sumit Goyal, a consultant oncoplastic surgeon for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has been awarded an MBE for services to Breast Cancer and Cardiff Breast Centre Charity.
He joined the NHS as a doctor in 1995 and has been a consultant for the last 17 years. In 2006 he became the lead consultant for Breast Cancer Services for Cardiff and Vale and beyond, a post he held for 10 years.
During his role and his commitment and determination, he developed a plan for a purpose built Breast Centre at the Llandough University Hospital, bringing all breast services under one roof and to provide ‘one stop’ breast clinics.
The Breast Centre opened in 2010 which is one of the first such centres in Wales providing a state of the art facility in a calm and comfortable environment.
In 2010, he established Cardiff Breast Centre Charity and the charity has raised over £750,000. The money has been utilised to improve care for breast cancer patients.
He added that he felt “ecstatic” and “proud” that the work had been recognised in such a way.
Dr Quentin Dudley Sandifer, lately Executive Director of Public Health Services and Medical Director, Public Health Wales was awarded an OBE for services to Public Health in Wales particularly during the Covid-19 response.