Lancaster NHS whistleblower Peter Duffy awarded MBE for his work on the Isle of Man during Covid-19 pandemic

A Lancaster surgeon now working on the Isle of Man has been honoured with an MBE for his selfless work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 10:55 am
Updated Monday, 12th October 2020, 11:02 am
Peter Duffy.

Peter Duffy said he was "absolutely astonished" to discover he had been awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

The consultant urologist sat with dying patients when relatives were unable to visit during the coronavirus outbreak on the Isle of Man.

He also served meals and changed beds at the island's Noble's Hospital during the pandemic.

Peter Duffy pictured during his recent trip back home with wife Fiona and sons William, Rob and Ed.

Mr Duffy was awarded the MBE for his "outstanding support to the Isle of Man during the Covid-19 pandemic" - but has said it was a "team effort".

"It was very much a surprise to find out," he said. "I had no idea until I had a call from the lieutenant governor of the Isle of Man a few weeks ago.

"He called me one Saturday and said 'Are you sitting down?'

"I was absolutely astonished."

Peter Duffy.

Mr Duffy then kept his impending honour a complete secret until he told his family on Friday night.

After reading about a teenager in England whose parents could not be by his side when he died because of the pandemic, the 58-year-old said he was determined he would "not leave somebody to die on their own on the Isle of Man".

During the crisis Mr Duffy could not continue his usual surgical work and so he dedicated himself to helping patients and staff around the wards in whatever way was needed.

He fed and washed patients, served meals, cleaned and changed beds, attended Intensive Care twice a day to help ventilated patients feel more comfortable, and contacted the wards on his days off to check on patients' progress and staff welfare.

Mr Duffy also sat with and read to end of life patients to comfort them in the absence of their relatives.

"I am so grateful that people thought to put my name forward," he said. "I am not sure I really deserve it, because it was a team effort, and everyone ought to get the credit.

"There was a huge commitment from the frontline staff at Noble's and I just tried to help out with that, particularly when they were under pressure.

"All of us were determined to not have patients dying on their own. I just tried to do my bit.

"This is very much something that I hope my family can share, because they have been fantastically supportive of me during everything that's gone on."

Mr Duffy previously worked within the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, but was forced to move away from his family and friends to find work after feeling shunned by the NHS in England following an employment tribunal.

We reported two years ago how Mr Duffy was left feeling sick at the sight of the NHS logo after a 10-year campaign against him left him ill and feeling unable to work in the NHS again.

Mr Duffy said his professional career was left in tatters after speaking out about allegations of medical negligence.

Last year he published a book about his experiences as an NHS whistleblower, and last month he spoke about his life on the Isle of Man - which is Covid-free - during a rare trip back home to see his family.