Knighthood for Professor Simon Wessely | BBC News | 29 December 2012

December 29, 2012


From BBC News, 29 December 2012.

A leading researcher into the mental health of military personnel has been knighted in the New Year's Honours.

Prof Simon Wessely, said he was “genuinely surprised and incredibly honoured” by the award.

He now heads the department of psychological medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London.

He became interested in “medically unexplained symptoms and syndromes” early in his career, and studied chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – or ME.

In 1991 he was involved in setting up one of the first NHS clinics for people with CFS symptoms and in the mid 1990s, he started to investigate Gulf War Syndrome.

This disputed condition had been linked to personnel who served in the first Gulf conflict in 1990-91.

Caroline Shaw Caroline Shaw receives a CBE for her work at The Christie cancer hospital

Reported symptoms ranged from chronic fatigue, headaches and sleep disturbances to joint pains, irritable bowel, stomach and respiratory disorders and psychological problems.

Prof Wessely has said there may not be a distinct illness.

He said: “Gulf War Syndrome is a misnomer,” he said. “Rather it's an illness or health effect.

“We established something happened, but we found no specific cause.

“The fascinating thing is that it didn't happen again in Iraq, and the reason for that remains enigmatic.”

Prof Wessely continues to study the long-term effects on those now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But he said that there had been improvements in the mental health care for armed forces personnel and those close to them.

“There is now improved psychological support, particularly for reservists and families.”

‘Huge honour'

He was among a large number of researchers, charity workers and NHS staff to receive honours.

Other health experts recognised included Stephen O'Brien, Chair of Barts and The London NHS Trust, who also receives a knighthood.

Respiratory health expert Prof John Britton and Caroline Shaw, chief executive of Manchester's specialist cancer hospital, The Christie are among those made CBEs.

One of those is Caroline Shaw, who is appointed a CBE for her work running The Christie cancer hospital in Manchester.

A former midwife, Ms Shaw was one of the youngest female NHS chief executives when she took over at the Christie in 2005.

She said: “I am incredibly proud… It is such a huge honour to be recognised in this way for my work in an industry I believe in and care passionately about.”

19 thoughts on “Knighthood for Professor Simon Wessely | BBC News | 29 December 2012”

  1. It’s official. The world has gone totally to pot. Corruption, cheating, lying and fiddling is the true way forward to success and reward.
    Evil triumphs over good, in the end.

  2. I am so disappointed that he received an award and you bump him up about CFS/ME. He has done nothing but halt real biomedical research into our health. I pray for the day he is shown for what he really is, one of the worlds biggest con men

  3. All this does is demean the entire honours system. Oh, and Prof. Wessely, you’re not the only one who’s surprised you got this award!

  4. “He said: “Gulf War Syndrome is a misnomer,” he said. “Rather it’s an illness or health effect.

    “We established something happened, but we found no specific cause.

    “The fascinating thing is that it didn’t happen again in Iraq, and the reason for that remains enigmatic.”

    “Huge honour” blah, blah.

    To paraphrase, “I am a totally useless researcher whose beliefs are closer to alchemy than science. My career has been a perfect demonstration of how someone with extremely sharp elbows can become totally accepted by the establishment whilst never having done any good in the world at all, particularly for the advancement of science”.

    Utter disgrace and a total slap in the face for all those patients he has caused real harm with his voodoo science.

  5. Let’s not forget the Camelford water poisonings – all “mass hysteria”, of course, according to this pseudoscientist.

  6. it seems the maddox award for simon wessely abuse to simon was a destraction from the big present under Simons christmas tree this year the knighthood to himself from his friends .
    The BBC i notice has a bad habbit of supporting its powerfull friends ignoreing the people who have complained so much about this mans behavior such as the countess of MAR and Malcolm They also chose to ignore the general public some of them with ME who expect balanced and fair journalism but instead get one sided storys attacking them on the BBC as just horrible people .
    I doubt AIDS patients would now put up with this sort of low grade treatment and disrespect.

  7. forthurst – I like your paraphrase.

    The ‘honours’ system has been a farce for years (knight/damehoods for riding bikes in circles or knocking balls about, making yourself rich, etc) but this one takes the biscuit.

    It must be the first award for preventing research, denying reality, and building an empire out of the King’s New Clothes.

    No clearer demonstration of the establishment’s corruption and self-serving nature could be devised.

    An utter disgrace.

    Yours

    Duke of Mercia (might as well have an undeserved honour too!)

  8. I’m shocked he has received a knighthood he’s done nothing but halt any research into M.E and made all sufferers look like mental health patients. After the survey results from patients stating the GET and CBT make patients worse he gets rewarded for putting us through it. This country is a disgrace noticed the ones who are actually fighting to help M.E aren’t being reconised.
    All this is going to do is cause more harm to M.E patients.

  9. Bit early for April Fool’s Day, isn’t it?
    Seriously though, this is utterly sickening, yet probably shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. They knighted Mansel Aylward, after all. It’s all about cutting benefit numbers, by any means at all. Reward the guys who say what suits the government’s agenda.

    The establishment sucks.

  10. Would be fascinated to know who nominated him! If he thinks Gulf War Syndrome is medically unexplained, he should definitely retire.

  11. Totally, Totally disgusted with Wessley’s knighthood and also with the new Medical Journal for CFS/ME. Who by – you guessed – psychiatrists!!

    I agree with all the negative and those very witty remarks about this obnoxious man.

    Happy New Year to all and let this strengthen our resolve to show we will not be treated in this way.

  12. sasha, I, too, was disgusted when Mansel Aylward was knighted last year and am equally disgusted to hear that Simon Wessley has been knighted.

  13. Francess Martyn

    Hi Guys, I think Simon Wessley deserves his knighthood – after all he has done exactly what The Establishment pay him to do = come up with the psychobabble to make villains out of victims. So why wouldn’t they honour his achievements?
    To us poor tortured souls this is akin to Hitler being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but we can expose Simon Wessley as the egotistical mindbender he is, but remember he is only the puppet, not the puppeteer.
    There are supposedly 250,000 ME/CFS sufferers (100,000 ME) and each person must know at least one other person, so say 500,000 people, at least, could sign an e-petition to get the locked away at Kew, under the official secrets act, ME/CFS documents made public. As I understand it, there only needs to be 100,000 signatures to do this. So what are we waiting for? It would answer a lot of questions for a lot of people and, more importantly, expose what ever is being hidden away until we’re all pushing up daisies.
    God only knows how SimWess and his associates sleep at night.
    Best wishes to you all.

    1. You are correct Francess, they are honouring what they have been endorsing, a failure to embrace the empirical evidence in favour of belief. What slips by most is that Wessely doesn’t research ME. His research puts forth his opinions about fatiguing disorders, not the neurological disease Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. The establishment adores favouring rhetoric over science. They can simply pick and choose the risk to themselves that the right opinion then presents.

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