Announcing the 2024 Honorary Fellows

Honorary Fellowship is awarded to a small number of people who are considered by our members to have made a major contribution to paediatrics and child health through research, education, clinical service and leadership.
Illustrations of trophies and medals on a purple background

We thank the College members nominating individuals for Honorary Fellowship. 

Our Honorary Fellows in 2024 are (in alphabetical order) - scroll down to read their citations, provided by the nominators:

  • Dr Abla Al Alfy
  • Professor Andrew Bush - also awarded the James Spence Medal 2024
  • Professor Andrew Cant
  • Dr Geoff Debelle
  • Professor Kevin Fenton
  • Dr Peter Lachman
  • Professor Mark Mon-Williams
  • Professor Leena Patel
  • Dr Jacqueline Small
  • Dr Alison Steele
  • Dr Steve Tomlin
  • Dr David Tuthill
  • Dr Mando Watson

Dr Abla Al Alfy 

Dr Abla Al Alfy with Dr Camilla Kingdon - RCPCH Conference 2024

Professor Al Alfy has been an international senior consultant in neonatology for last 35 years, affectionately known as The Mother of Egypt’s Children, Abla has developed neonatal intensive care, promoted breast feeding, KMC, healthy nutrition and development for Egyptian children. Her commitment to training for paediatricians and others has created a legacy of caring.

She founded the presidential initiative, the golden 1000 days for family development that holistically solve the population issue, in number and characteristics, from the Egyptian context. She developed certified training curricula for family counseling, improving perinatal and neonatal care. She created network of family counseling centers integrated across Egypt and has seen malnutrition, LSCS, neonatal mortality and morbidity statistics drop over the course of the initiative.

She was nominated by President of Egypt as a member of the Egyptian Parliament, and is leading the parliamentarian subcommittee for Maternal and Child Health and Population Finally, a note on her work with the College, which does not cover all that she has done; She founded the Egyptian Members’ Association of the RCPCH, 2007, that is efficiently hosting the college Exams and training courses to date, hosted the first RCPCH International Conference for the Middle East. RCPCH, regional advisor for MENA, and was awarded the RCPCH golden medal for her work improving children’s health.

Professor Andrew Bush

Professor Andrew Bush with Dr Camilla Kingdon - RCPCH Conference 2024

Professor Bush’s work as a translational researcher for over 30 years has produced a vast number of works including supervising 36 MD and PhD degrees, authoring more than 550 papers in peer review journals, more than 100 chapters in books and monographs and co-edited 10 books. His position as Professor within a number of institutes has raised more than £70 million in peer review grants and donations. He was the first paediatrician to hold the post of Editor in Chief, Thorax (2010-15) and also the only Deputy Editor from outside North American for the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. These are just two examples of the positions and responsibilities that Professor Bush has held and accomplished.

Andy has taught and inspired a generation of paediatricians, with more than 50 now occupying senior clinical and academic positions. His highly valuable clinical contributions as a second opinion have provided trust in challenging clinical cases and sensitive communication with the families involved. 

Professor Bush is an outstanding example of an academic with an international reputation, who also maintains an extensive clinical practice.

Also awarded James Spence Medal 2024.

Professor Andrew Cant

Professor Andrew Cant with Dr Camilla Kingdon - RCPCH Conference 2024

Professor Cant has tirelessly championed children’s health services across Northern England and beyond for over 30 years. Andrew has been instrumental in developing a supra-regional immunology service, researching and developing complex and challenging treatments for some of the most vulnerable children and young people and raising survival rates from around 50% to 90%.

Andrew has dedicated his life for patients and families, establishing a charity for the unit which has raised over a million pounds to help fund parent accommodation, staff training and research. His enthusiasm has helped create one of the most successful paediatric transplant units in Europe. He has trained over 20 junior doctors who have become paediatric immunologists in many centres around the UK and overseas, and was involved in creating the national training programme for paediatric immunology and infectious diseases.

Amongst so many of his accolades and achievements, the words of one family who interact with Professor Cant: “Our son has always looked forward to his appointments with Professor Cant as he makes him feel comfortable and talks to him directly, making it an enjoyable experience.. His knowledge and understanding is incredible”.

Dr Geoff Debelle

Dr Geoff Debelle with Dr Camilla Kingdon - RCPCH Conference 2024

Dr Debelle’s accolades include his work practicing Clinical Paediatrics for a number of years, but also focus on his work in Child Protection, working as a Designated Doctor for Safeguarding in Birmingham, as well as chairing groups including the West Midlands Child Protection Special Interest group, as well as being a member of the RCPCH Child Protection Standing Committee.

His experience has seen his involvement in the development and delivery of local and national safeguarding training courses, as well as being a tutor for the WHO European Office and for UNICEF. His work in the West Midlands has seen the establishment of a holistic assessment suite for children and young people with suspected sexual abuse, as well as a 24/7 service for the investigation of sudden unexpected death in infancy.

He has contributed and authored a number of works, as well as acting as a review for the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review since 2018, Geoff’s work has been tireless.

Professor Kevin Fenton

Professor Kevin Fenton with Dr Camilla Kingdon - RCPCH Conference 2024

Professor Fenton has a longstanding track record of focusing on health inequalities and in his role as Regional Director for the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities in London has called out inequalities across the city. During his Presidency of the Faculty of Public Health, he led the collaborative work with RCPCH in producing the document "Securing our healthy future: Prevention is better than cure".

Professor Fenton was the Director of the National Centre for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention at the Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention(CDC) in the US. Upon his return to the UK, he was PHE's National Director for Health and Wellbeing, leading programmes for issues such as cancer screening, obesity, and mental health amongst many others.

He played a leading role in London's response to the pandemic, specifically highlighting the impact on disadvantaged communities and Black and ethnic minority communities. This led to the publication of the 'Beyond the Data' report which shaped a more equitable pandemic response both in London and nationally.

Dr Peter Lachman

Dr Peter Lachman with Dr Camilla Kingdon - RCPCH Conference 2024

Dr Lachman is a leader in quality improvement and patient safety, not only in paediatrics and child health, but on a much wider scale. During his time as CEO of the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (2016-21), he was instrumental in its transformation into one of the leading global organisations in its remit.

He developed the quality improvement programme at Great Ormond Street Hospital where he was the Deputy Medical Director with the lead for Patient Safety, but this is one example of many where Peter has been at the forefront of ensuring patient safety. His current position as Lead Faculty Quality Improvement at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland sees him direct programmes to develop clinical leaders in quality improvement.

Peter’s work with the RCPCH Annual Conference, including Quality Improvement sessions has brought energy, wisdom and vast experience to the College. His contribution to Annual Conference is significant as he assists at all levels, from scoring abstracts to securing plenary and other speakers.

Professor Mark Mon-Williams

Professor Mark Mon-Williams with Dr Camilla Kingdon - RCPCH Conference 2024

Professor Mon-Williams’s work at a number of institutions including the University of Leeds, the Bradford Institute of Health Research and the Norwegian Centre for Vision. Within his roles, he is a strong advocate for address inequalities that negatively affects children and has co-authored the most recent ‘Child of the North’ report.

Mark sits within a research group that uses their fundamental scientific contributions to address applied issues within surgery, rehabilitation and childhood development. Mark is a Turing Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute and his research builds on a Medical Research Council Mental Health Data Pathfinder grant, linking two large cohort datasets in order to explore ways of decreasing the incidence of mental health problems.

Mark played in a major role in setting up and running an important session on the Social Determinants of Child Health at the RCPCH Annual Conference, which has contributed to the resources on the College website on poverty, inequalities and social determinants of child health.

Professor Leena Patel

Professor Leena Patel - with Dr Camilla Kingdon - RCPCH Conference 2024

Professor Patel is a Paediatric Endocrinologist in Manchester and an Emeritus Professor of Medica Education. Her work, both in the UK and overseas has seen her interest in medical education and training and assessment create a wide experience in the design, delivery and assessment of undergraduate and postgraduate training programmes.

Her research interests have seen her contribute to numerous publications, including national and international reviews and guidelines, in paediatric diabetes, pituitary, thyroid and adrenal disorders. Prof Patel is an examiner for the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board exams and regularly participates in assessment of candidates who have trained overseas and wish to work in the UK.

She has worked tirelessly for the RCPCH examinations and assessment team for over two decades. She has been an Examiner and Senior Examiner for the MRCPCH Clinical examinations for over 15 years. In May 2020, Professor Patel was instrumental in developing the new stations, templates and scenario content that enabled the college to run Covid=adapted MRCPCH clinical online exams during the pandemic.

Dr Jacqueline Small

Dr Jacqueline Small with Dr Camilla Kingdon - RCPCH Conference 2024

Dr Small is a developmental paediatrician and has worked in cross-disciplinary teams for children, adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities since 1998. She currently leads two teams within Community Paediatrics, and is actively involved in national advocation to improve the health of those with intellectual disabilities.

In her current position as President for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians has highlighted multidisciplinary opportunities for paediatricians, emphasising integrated care to bring together health providers from different sectors. Dr Small has been involved with the establishment of a new multidisciplinary team in the Sydney Local Health District to provide people with intellectual disabilities support across their lifespan.

Jacqueline has over 30 years of clinical practice experience which has furthered her extensive experience in driving policy outcomes through a number of organisations. She has given evidence into the Disability Royal Commission, and also the Senate Inquiry into Autism for future national guidance development.

Dr Alison Steele

Dr Alison Steele with Dr Camilla Kingdon - RCPCH Conference 2024

Dr Steele has been an outstanding paediatrician for over 30 years and has contributed most significantly in the challenging area of safeguarding. She was one of the original Consultant Paediatricians on the regional rota providing assessments for children who had experienced sexual abuse and continued to work for the Paediatric Forensic Network.

Alison has used her considerable skills and knowledge to develop and lead services across Newcastle, the Northeast and at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She led and developed the child protection team at the Great North Children’s Hospital, developing an integrated multi-disciplinary team, leading through the training of many child health staff in the safeguarding of children. She established a Northeast region-wide Sex Abuse Referral Centre to provide a 24/7 service for some of the most vulnerable children.

Alison has been an outstanding RCPCH Officer for Child Protection from 2018 to 2023 and has spearheaded policy and national standards that have informed the development for child protection services across the UK, and has countless achievements to her name. 

Alison has taken up the mantle to be the College Treasurer, and for those that love the regulations and bye-laws, the College stipulates that the Treasurer must be an Ordinary member or Fellow. For this reason, we have presented Alison with her Honorary Fellowship for the work she has already accomplished, to celebrate all that she has done, but she will not be an official Honorary Fellow of the College until she demits from her position as Treasurer.

Dr Steve Tomlin

Dr Steve Tomlin with Dr Camilla Kingdon - RCPCH Conference 2024

Dr Tomlin has been at the forefront of paediatric pharmacy in the UK for many years, as chief pharmacist in Great Ormond street and latterly as both the Director of the Children’s Medicines Centre and Associate Chief Pharmacist for Research and Innovation at Great Ormond Street. He has represented the needs and views of children and young people with regard to medicines through leadership roles in the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group, and on national working groups.

During Steve’s career, the development of paediatric pharmacy as a specialist area has been immense, and he has contributed to expert groups such as the Paediatric Chief Pharmacists group, linking the tertiary children’s hospitals in the UK, and driving forward healthcare delivery improvements.

Steve is currently the vice chair, and will rotate to be chair in about 18 months, of the RCPCH & Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacy Group (NPPG) joint standing committee on medicines.

Dr David Tuthill

Dr David Tuthill with Dr Camilla Kingdon - RCPCH Conference 2024

Dr Tuthill’s work as a Consultant General Paediatrician for over 20 years, as well as his work as the RCPCH Officer for Wales has created a huge contribution to the advancement of child health in Wales. His work with a range of Welsh Senedd committees have seen him advocate and provide a clinical voice on a number of topics including water fluoridation and also obesity. He has researched ten-fold prescribing errors and how to prevent them, and was a champion of electronic prescribing as a mitigation that could help reduce such errors.

As part of his long list of achievements during his time as the Officer for Wales, he helped develop the South Wales and West of England Paediatric Allergy forum, for a deeper understanding across paediatric professions. He has also implemented the first Sublingual Immunotherapy Service for children in Wales, to reduce the need for a London based referral.

Last, but not least in David’s achievements, he has been dedicated to student teaching, with over 70 medical students undertaking specialist projects with him, more than any other paediatrician in Wales.

Dr Mando Watson

Dr Mando Watson with Dr Camilla Kingdon - RCPCH Conference 2024

The work of Dr Watson has empowered the sector to think differently about child health, and she has been a trailblazer for integrated child health. Mando is responsible for setting up Connecting Care for Children (CC4C) which is the national gold standard of how to integrate primary and secondary care. 
Dr Watson’s is a busy general paediatrician with a subspecialty interest in diabetes at St Mary's Hospital in North West London, she is also the clinical lead for the CYP Programme in the North West London Integrated Care System as well as the clinical lead for child health in the North Kensington (Grenfell) Recovery team.

Mando’s involvement in both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education throughout her professional career; she has been a training programme director in the London School of Paediatrics, a RCPCH Regional Advisor for North Thames West and also President of Paediatrics and Child Health Council of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Her contribution to the College has been over many years, and she is the lead author for the 'Paediatrician of the Future: Delivering really good training'. This sizeable document lays out the principles for our new postgraduate training programme and underpins the design of Progress+.

Nominations for the next Honorary Fellows