An MBE for Dr Susan Fleming
Dr Fleming was one of a special cohort of nominees for the Queen's New Year's Honours List in 2020 that had played a vital part in our Island's response during the Coronavirus pandemic.
As the Matron at St John's Residential Home, Dr Fleming is not a Civil Servant and does not work for HSE but Dr Brink selected her personally as the person best qualified and most capable to take the lead on the States Care Home cell. This was set up to take extra precautions caring for the elderly living in care homes. As were the most vulnerable members of our society and living all together as they were, they were at risk of spreading the virus amongst themselves and out into the wider community through their family and the medical staff. Dr Fleming sourced PPE equipment when it was at it's most scarce, launched a campaign to bring former care workers back into the frontline when staff were at their most needed and designed a strategy to protect our elderly with increased testing when leaving and prior to readmission to the homes. We all remember the shock we felt as the number of cases in care homes rose so sharply at the start of the pandemic and are grateful to those such as Dr Fleming and her staff who rose to the challenge and brought about the changes we all needed to keep us and our relatives and friends safe on our island.
All the recipients of awards at this time were given the option to attend a Covid-secure investiture at the palace with just one guest or to have their Lieutenant-Governor present the award here. Dr Fleming was very pleased to have the opportunity to be surrounded by her friends and family at Government House and, most particularly, some of the staff she worked with who she feels have earned the award just as much as she did.
His Excellency gave a short speech after the medal had been presented where he was able to thank Dr Fleming and her staff for their dedication to the Island and also to thank her for giving him the opportunity to present her award. The Lieutenant-Governor does not get many opportunities to present such awards and a little emotion could be detected in his speech as he spoke about the pandemic and about the island he has come to love.
Dr Fleming with Sir Ian and her family at Government House