OBE for staff member who is transforming the care of very sick babies

Posted on Monday 12th October 2020
Suzanne Sweeney, Network Director for London Neonatal Operational Delivery Network

Suzanne Sweeney, network director for London Neonatal Operational Delivery Network

An Evelina London member of staff has received a prestigious honour from the Queen for her services to neonatal care – the care of sick and premature babies.

Suzanne Sweeney, network director for London Neonatal Operational Delivery Network, received an OBE in this Saturday’s Queen’s 2020 Birthday Honours list.

Suzanne said “I’m thrilled to have received such an honour, I honestly thought it was spam when I first saw the email telling me I’d been appointed an OBE. I’ve never felt prouder to be part of the NHS, and I think it’s wonderful that many NHS staff have been recognised in this year’s birthday honours list”.

“I have worked in many medical specialties, but neonatology is the most rewarding. Babies born prematurely are so vulnerable. Everything we do for them at this stage in their life will impact their entire life course, so it’s really important that we provide the best care we can for every child, for every family.  We are their advocates.

“It is an honour to work alongside the talented clinical colleagues across the London Neonatal Operational Delivery Network, who deliver cutting edge medicine to London’s babies, and long after their shifts have ended find the time to support me in the transformation of neonatal services.”

Suzanne has worked for the NHS for 15 years, and in her current role she is working on exciting plans that will help improve the health outcomes for the most vulnerable babies at Evelina London and across the whole of London. This important work to transform neonatal services, on behalf of NHS England, touches the lives of families now and into the future. 

Starting her NHS career in 2004 in screening services, following this Suzanne moved to work with the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service and in major trauma in A&E. With a degree in Early Years (Health Years and Development) she combines her interest in child health with a role at the Neonatal Operational Delivery Network which brings her into contact with babies and families at a vulnerable time in their lives. 

So dedicated to helping children develop and lead their best lives, Suzanne also volunteers three times a week with the Sea Cadet Corps. The Sea Cadets aim to give young people the best start in life through nautical adventure and fun. As well as being the Unit Chairman for Bexley and Lewisham Sea Cadet Corps, a busy and thriving unit in South East London which has over 50 cadets between the ages of 8-18 years on the roll, she is the Chairman for London Area,  the most senior non-uniformed volunteer in London, where she is focused on making sure the views of the cadets from across the region are represented and heard.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the investiture for those receiving a Queen’s Honour is on hold but Suzanne will be invited to an event, which is usually held at Buckingham Palace, to formally receive her OBE when this is possible again.