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Medical director of Rainbows receives MBE

26th March 2014

IMG_2136 Press

The medical director of Rainbows has received his MBE from Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.

Dr Satbir Jassal, who is also a general practitioner in Loughborough, has been recognised for his services to palliative care for children and young people. In 1993, he set up the role of Medical Director at Rainbows from nothing and has developed it into a role model for others worldwide.

After he accepted the accolade at Buckingham Palace, Dr Jassal, of Loughborough, declared it as a very special recognition for children’s palliative care.

He said: “I am very proud of the work Rainbows does and I couldn’t help but be proud to receive the MBE. The experience was as great as you could imagine it to be. It was beautifully done, everyone was very friendly and it was very grand.”

Rainbows is celebrating its 20th birthday this year. In 1995, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales officially opened the hospice. Last year, The Duchess of Cambridge supported Children’s Hospice Week by recording a special video message.

Dr Jassal added: “The Duke of Cambridge said to me that his wife would be absolutely delighted to hear I was receiving the award. There was a lot of recognition for children’s palliative care throughout the event and it was such a wonderful day to remember.”

Dr Jassal was a founder member of the Association of Paediatric Palliative Medicine and is one of two GP members of the group developing the curriculum for paediatric palliative care. He is a co-author and contributor for many text books, including the Oxford Handbook of Paediatric Palliative Medicine, as well as developing the first ever Rainbows Children's Symptom Control Manual, which is now published through Together for Short Lives and is in its 9th edition. Dr Jassal also delivers training on paediatric palliative medicine to the wider children’s palliative care community.

Despite the fact that he is not a paediatrician, Dr Jassal is highly respected as an expert in the field of children and young people’s palliative care. His work has raised the profile of Rainbows, which cares for over 280 children and young people as well as supporting 249 bereaved families and 521 siblings. In 2009, Dr Jassal was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in recognition of his contribution.