Over the New Year, the New Year Honours list was released and we are delighted that Professor Alka Ahuja has been awarded an MBE for her services to the NHS during the pandemic.
Having helped establish the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service, she was asked in March for this service to be rapidly scaled up for people to continue to access healthcare advice and services from their homes during the pandemic - which she called a "mammoth task".
Prof Alka Ahuja said:"What would usually have taken years needed to be done in a matter of weeks."
She said she had "mixed feelings moving away from front line" but was proud of the work she had managed to achieve.
"It has enabled us to deliver a safe delivery of care whilst protecting the work force. It is obviously an honour to be recognising but is very humbling because it is a team effort."
Dr Adrian James, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: ''I would like to present my heartiest congratulations to Alka. The honour is richly deserved.
"Alka has worked tirelessly to improve user and carer involvement in healthcare services. She has pioneered the development and use of technology for mental health patients and services.
Paul Rees, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “This is wonderful news and I would like to congratulate all those whose effort have been awarded an honour.
"During these unprecedented times The Royal College of Psychiatrists has continued to ensure that mental health and physical health are equally represented and respected during the pandemic.
“These honours are an indication of the frontline role our members have played during the pandemic.”
Professor Alka Ahuja MBE: Professor Ahuja is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and the Lead Consultant for the Tertiary Neurodevelopmental service at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. Alka is the National Clinical lead for the Welsh Government Technology Enabled Care Programme. She is the Finance Officer, Child and Adolescent Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Public Education lead, Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales. Also, a Visiting Professor at the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care, University of South Wales.