Occupational health nurse awarded MBE

A mould-breaking occupational health nurse has been recognised in this year’s New Year Honours.

Thelma McGuire, former director of Lothian NHS Occupational Health Service, said she was “absolutely delighted” to have been made an MBE in the honours.

McGuire, who retired four years ago and now works as an OH management consultant, was the first nurse director of an OH service in Scotland, but also had a distinguished career with Whitbread, John Lewis and Ranks Hovis McDougall, where she worked with, among others, Cynthia Atwell, now chair of the Royal College of Nursing’s Society of Occupational Health Nursing.

“I am delighted both for me and for occupational health nursing. But I also had a wonderful team of OH nurses to support me,” she said.

“The biggest change, both for OH and OH nursing, is that it is now much more respected. In the NHS it used to be a bit of a poor relation. Now it is much more part of a multi-disciplinary team,” she added.

Others honoured included Margaret Scullion, head of welfare and corporate services within Northern Ireland’s Department of Health Occupational Health Service, who was also made an MBE.

Philip Kemball, secretary to the Health and Safety Executive’s Buncefield fire board of investigation, received an MBE, while Sandra Caldwell, director of field operations at the Health and Safety Executive, received a CB.

Professor Margaret Tucker, former dean and head of the Cardiff University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, was made an OBE.

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