Oxfordshire end of life care professor is awarded New Year's honour

Prof Bee Wee, who leads end of life care at Sobell House hospice at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford, has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours List.

Monday, 30th December 2019, 9:54 am
Updated Monday, 30th December 2019, 9:54 am
Prof Bee Wee
Prof Bee Wee

She said: “I am delighted to receive this honour on behalf of all who have inspired, supported and worked with me over 30 years to improve palliative and end of life care, locally, nationally and internationally, especially the Trust, my colleagues in Sobell House, my family and friends.”

Originally from Malaysia, Prof Wee moved to Ireland on her own aged 15. After graduating from medical school at Trinity College Dublin, she trained in general practice in Ireland before working at Bradbury Hospice in Hong Kong for almost three years. She started working in Oxford in 2003 as a Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Sobell House.

Prof Wee also has a national role with NHS England and NHS Improvement as the National Clinical Director for Palliative and End of Life Care and academic posts as Associate Professor and Fellow of Harris Manchester College at the University of Oxford and Visiting Professor at the University of Worcester.

Sir Jonathan Montgomery, Chair of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am delighted that Professor Bee Wee has been recognised for her outstanding service, not just in Oxford but nationally as Clinical Director for End of Life Care. It has been a personal privilege for me to have worked with her on legal and ethical issues in palliative care over many years. This is a very well-deserved honour for an excellent and caring clinician.”

Professor Keith Willett, Director for Acute Care at NHS England and NHS Improvement, added: “Bee has a distinguished career in palliative care and has been both thought provoking and passionate in helping NHS staff, families and patients think about the difficult questions we all too often do not wish to face. Bee has led the changes in approach of our NHS and partner organisations to help those approaching death and their loved ones focus on what really matters. This award is very much deserved.”

Sobell House provides outstanding palliative care for patients who are nearing the end of their lives. A two-storey extension housing a specialist outpatient facility (the Sobell Clinic) and a six-patient ward (the Garden Annex) designed to support patients with more complex care needs such as dementia, was officially opened in September 2019.