Andy Cole, the recent Chief Executive of Bliss, the special care baby charity, has been awarded an OBE in Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours List being recognised for services to neonatal care.
Andy Cole commented on receiving an OBE, "I am deeply honoured to have had Bliss' work supporting families and championing neonatal services recognised in this way. I take this as a tribute to the impact of Bliss' work over 35 years and deserved recognition of the dedication of Bliss' staff, trustees and many thousands of supporters and volunteers, who give so generously to help the charity. Most importantly, it is recognition of the incredible work that nurses and doctors on neonatal units across the country do every single day and the challenges which our families and their babies overcome."
Keith Soper, Chair of Trustees added, "On a personal level, I am delighted for Andy. Andy has worked tirelessly in his pursuit of high quality services for all babies and their families. He has been pivotal to our progress as a charity and it is a huge honour for Bliss to be associated with this prestigious and much deserved award."
Andy recently stepped down as Chief Executive of Bliss at the end of May after eight years and is currently the Director of Corporate Affairs at the leading disability charity, Leonard Cheshire Disability.
Under Andy's leadership Bliss successfully campaigned for improvements in neonatal services across the UK, reductions in infant mortality and the rights of babies and their parents. Andy championed Bliss' work for capturing patient experience to help shape services and supporting critical care decision-making, as well as developing programmes around the educational needs of children born early. With Andy’s vision and passion to help families, Bliss' support and information services for parents have greatly expanded at a local level, a national accreditation system for neonatal units has been launched and specialist family care nurses have been funded in major intensive care centres.
Andy was a member of the NHS Neonatal Taskforce review in England and the Neonatal Expert Advisory Group in Scotland, and was involved in the revision of the General Medical Council's guidelines on End of Life Treatment and Care. He was also a member of the Department of Health’s independent Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum and the national perinatal confidential enquiries review programme.