Suffolk

New Year Honours 2019: Dr Barbara Gale appointed MBE

Dr Barbara Gale Image copyright St Nicholas Hospice Care
Image caption Dr Barbara Gale has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours

A doctor who developed a network of volunteers to bring care to people with terminal conditions in west Suffolk and south Norfolk has been appointed MBE.

Dr Barbara Gale, chief executive of St Nicholas Hospice Care, masterminded the Hospice Neighbours network.

"I couldn't have received this without having such an amazing team," she said.

Dr Gale has worked with hospices since 1981 and has qualifications in leadership, nursing and palliative care.

Dr Gale praised the efforts of staff who "work so hard to make the experiences of people in the community better and help people as they face death, dying and grief".

"These volunteers carry out practical tasks like mowing the lawn, picking up prescriptions, walking the dog, doing washing or shopping," she said.

"Families really appreciate this help in their homes by local people."

The network works with St Nicholas Hospice Care, based at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, where there are specialists in palliative care, end-of-life counselling and bereavement.

Hospice Neighbours won a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2015 and the St Nicholas group is now leading a campaign for people to donate corneas - part of the eye covering the pupil and iris - after they have died.

Dr Gale has recently received a Doctor of Philosophy in palliative care from Lancaster University for her thesis on community hospice volunteers.

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