NHS Digital’s Professor Jonathan Benger has been awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year’s Honours List for ‘services to the NHS’.

Prof Benger, who is chief medical officer at NHS Digital, has played a key role during the Covid-19 pandemic, including oversight of NHS Pathways, NHS111 online, the NHS.UK website and the NHS app, all of which have been central to the pandemic response.

He and his team have been working to embed a clinical emphasis within the culture of NHS Digital and promote the ‘clinical first’ approach – a philosophy that everything has a clinical focus through its impact on patients.

Before his role at NHS Digital, he was the national clinical director for urgent care at NHS England, where he led reform of the ambulance services and wider emergency care system, including implementation of the NHS England review of Urgent and Emergency Care, the development of the NHS Long Term Plan and the Emergency Care Data Set.

It is the great work Jonathan has conducted during the pandemic and his ‘services to the NHS’ at such a difficult time that has led to his recognition in the 2022 New Year’s Honours List.

Prof Benger said: “Health and care has always been very much a team endeavour, and one of the challenges of recognising individuals is that it’s important at the same time to recognise the team that supports them.

“We have an incredible team at NHS Digital, and I work with some fantastic people. Individuals are honoured with awards but of course it’s really a whole team effort and acknowledgement.”

Just a few months ago, Jonathan spoke at Digital Health’s Autumn Leadership Summit, where he stressed that to successfully integrate the NHS organisations need to “take the workforce with us”.

Professor Jonathan Benger will officially receive his CBE later in 2022, along with the other individuals whose work shone during the pandemic, including England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty and deputy CMO, Jonathan Van-Tam.