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Honorary Fellowship Award to Pamela A. Barnes, Chairwoman of Action for Sick Children

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Pamela Barnes of Disley near Stockport has received the award of Honorary Fellowship of The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health on 23rd May at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Conference in Glasgow.

Pamela Barnes has contributed to the wellbeing of sick children throughout her long career within the statutory and voluntary healthcare sectors in the UK. Trained as an early years teacher in Sydney, Australia, she had a particular interest in child psychology and was able to translate this interest into the emotional and psychological needs of sick children on arrival in the UK.

She took a particular interest in furthering the cause of Action for Sick Children (NAWCH) and campaigned as an advocate for the needs of sick children and their families for a high standard of healthcare. She established the first hospital play programme in the North West, under NAWCH auspices. She then assisted in the development of NAHPS, bringing those involved in hospital play programmes together as a national association and became Chairman in 1981. In 1985 she established the Hospital Play Staff Education Trust as well as the academic programme for HPS in Greater Manchester, overseeing the academic qualification of hospital play specialists and held the office of Chairman until 2004 when appointed the (Hon) President. She assisted in writing the study programmes for HPS.

From 1974 onwards, Pamela Barnes held various posts within Greater Manchester, Chairman of North Manchester Community Health Council, Non Executive Directors of North Manchester and Salford Health Authorities and Non Executive Director of the Children's Trusts (Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and Booth Hall) 1995-2001 and finally as a member of the Network Supervisory Board, overseeing the reconfiguration of children's services in Greater Manchester.

She has travelled extensively visiting hospitals at home and overseas and has been a frequent speaker at National and International Conferences, making a distinguished contribution in highlighting the needs of sick children and their families. She is currently giving advice as a lay member on the Paediatric Cardiology SAC at the Royal College of Physicians. She has chaired Action for Sick Children over the last 12 years when the charity celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011. Alongside these many activities, Pamela Barnes has written and published extensively both here and abroad. She says she is proudest of being able to write the histories of the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and the History of Paediatrics in Greater Manchester. But many children and parents are most grateful to her for her book on "My Heart Operation" and for making "play" a universal component of any child's hospital stay.

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