Ex PM's Diabetes Doctor Honoured for Services to Health

Tim Locke

September 10, 2019

A doctor said to have treated former prime minister Theresa May for type 1 diabetes has been awarded a CBE - Commander of the Order of the British Empire - in her resignation honours list.

Traditionally former prime ministers are allowed to bestow awards like OBEs (Order of the British Empire) and seats in the House of Lords, to individuals, including former staff.

Ian Gallen, a consultant physician and endocrinologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading receives a CBE for "services to public health".

Dr Gallen told Medscape Medical News: "I'm very honored and very proud to have been recognised in this way.

"It's a recognition also of team work in diabetes, and I'd like to thank my fellow doctors, nurses and midwives and, of course, the patients who have been kind enough to trust me."

His award was listed alongside an OBE for another doctor, GP Deborah Milligan from the Swallowfield Medical Practice, Wokingham who is also an NHS Locality Lead.

Royal Berkshire NHS Trust tweeted its congratulations to Ian Gallen and Deborah Milligan.

Also on Mrs May's list in amongst former advisors and staff was former cricketer Geoffrey Boycott, who becomes a Sir.

Ian Gallen

As well as community diabetes care, Dr Gallen has specialised in managing diabetes and performance in sport, and research into dysglycaemia. He's on the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine and served as a special medical advisor to the London 2012 Olympics.

He worked with Olympic gold medal winning rower Sir Steve Redgrave, who has T1D.

Theresa May was the first major world leader living with type 1 diabetes in office. She was diagnosed in 2013 at the age of 56 after displaying symptoms of thirst, fatigue, and unplanned weight loss.

Dr Gallen has been a supporter of continuous glucose monitoring technology, including the FreestyleLibre. Mrs May is a user of the device, which has now been accepted for NHS funding in England.


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