A nurse said she was overwhelmed to be named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and made an MBE for services to improving end-of-life care.
Claire Henry, 48, of Uppingham, found out a few weeks ago that she had been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire but was sworn to secrency until the Queen’s Birthday Honours List was revealed on Saturday.
Claire said: “I was really surprised when I found out. I had to read the letter a few times before it sank in.
“When I told my friends and family on Saturday, they said they were glad they didn’t know as they wouldn’t have been able to keep it a secret.
“It is just an amazing honour, I am so proud.
“It is an amazing recognition and it raises the profile of end-of-life care, which is so important.”
Claire has dedicated her nursing career to caring for cancer patients and those needing end-of-life care.
Her desire to help people led her to becoming the director of the National End of Life Care Programme.
She has recently taken on a new role as part of NHS Improving Quality, where she is responsible for improving care for people with long-term conditions.
Claire, who is married to Lionel Cunnington, said: “The key thing is about keeping the person and their family at the forefront of everything we do. We are constantly making improvements and the new role is about bringing all of our expertise and knowledge together.”
Claire thanked all her colleagues and family for their support.
Earlier this year Claire received a lifetime achievement award at the International Journal of Palliative Nursing Awards, sponsored by Macmillan Cancer Support.