Surgeon Commander Lisa Stevens and Petty Officer Jessica Metcalfe, who are both recognised in 2021’s New Year’s Honours
Petty Officer Jessica Metcalfe (left) and Surgeon Commander Lisa Stevens (right) are both being recognised (Picture: Royal Navy).
Navy

Royal Navy personnel recognised in New Year Honours list for coronavirus efforts 

Of the 22 personnel recognised, 10 are honoured for the way they dealt with COVID-19 and its impact on life inside and outside the Navy.

Surgeon Commander Lisa Stevens and Petty Officer Jessica Metcalfe, who are both recognised in 2021’s New Year’s Honours
Petty Officer Jessica Metcalfe (left) and Surgeon Commander Lisa Stevens (right) are both being recognised (Picture: Royal Navy).

Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines have been recognised in the New Year Honours list for their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Both medical teams and those whose frontline operations were affected by the pandemic were singled out for decorations.

Of the 22 naval personnel recognised in the list, 10 have been honoured for the way they dealt with COVID-19 and its impact on life both inside and outside the Navy.

Chief Petty Officer Naval Nurses Kelly Brechany and Carrie Smith are made Ordinary Associates (2nd Class) of the Royal Red Cross (ARRC) for their work at two of the largest hospitals in southern England.

CPO Brechany worked at Portsmouth's Queen Alexandra Hospital, ensuring all NHS staff were trained to use PPE and updating training and procedures as the virus evolved.

Meanwhile, CPO Smith, described as a "lynchpin" in the emergency department at University Hospitals Plymouth, has been recognised for delivering "exemplary care and inspirational leadership at the height of the pandemic".

Surgeon Commander Lisa Stevens receives an OBE for a double effort as the Principal Medical Officer of HMS Raleigh in Torpoint.

The base, which turns civilians into sailors, continued to deliver training almost uninterrupted during the crucial early stages of the pandemic thanks to "her courage, resilience and decisive actions".

She also stepped in to support doctors in the local community and additionally overhauled the way HMS Raleigh discharges injured recruits, leading to a significant reduction of the drop-out rate, the Navy said.

"An OBE is an amazing surprise and I feel truly honoured," she said.

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"The 30 staff in the sick bay at Raleigh are a tight-knit team who work together superbly and who go above and beyond. So this award is for all of them – it truly was a team effort."

Another member of the Royal Navy, medical assistant Petty Officer Jessica Metcalfe, currently serving in the Health Physics Group at HM Naval Base Clyde, will receive an MBE.

PO Metcalfe, who stepped in three times to serve at sea to cover fellow medics who were supporting COVID-19 efforts ashore, said she was "absolutely gobsmacked" to receive the award.

"I never saw it coming," she said. "It was such a heart-warming feeling to be recognised.

"What you think is just doing your job, for someone else to think it's more than that – I have not really got to grips with that thought."

While at sea she arranged for personnel to get mental health training, offered to give advice if they were struggling and ensured morale on board was kept high, the Navy said.

"Being away is very difficult and can be very challenging," she said, "especially during COVID people were struggling."

"We didn't have that downtime so for me it was very important to ensure the crew had the support they needed."