Metropolitan Police chief medical officer is world beater

The chief medical officer of the Metropolitan Police Service has been named the top female civilian staff member in the world for her work following the 2004 Asian tsunami disaster.

Eileen Cahill-Canning has been named Civil Staff Member of the Year by the International Association of Women Policing International Association of Women Policing (IAWP) and will pick up her award in Canada later this month.

She was instrumental to UK response to the Asian tsunami disaster in 2004, organising extensive support for both UK and overseas police officers out in the field in Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Cahill-Canning also introduced a successful health promotion campaign whereby every single member of staff in the Met was offered a free full health screening, estimated to be worth about £150 in the private health sector.

The health campaign has contributed to significant reductions in sickness absence in the service, with the average number of sick days taken by police officers dropping from 10 to seven days – resulting savings of nearly £23m.

Mylan Masson, chair of the award committee for the IAWP said Cahill-Canning was chosen for “showing qualities of professionalism, innovation, leadership and commitment outside the normal range, particularly in the areas of attendance management, ill-health retirements and dealing with disabilities”.

Cahill-Canning said the award reflected the tireless work and unwavering support provided by her colleagues in the occupational health department at the Metropolitan Police Service.

Cahill-Canning qualified as a doctor in 1983 and joined Surrey Police as a medical officer in 1995. In January 2001, she was appointed as senior occupational health physician at the Met.

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