Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie OBE, has received a knighthood for services to the NHS in Scotland, when he was recently invested on July 5 by Her Majesty the Queen at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, with his wife Heather and mother Sheila in attendance as guests.
Sir Lewis, who was born and has stayed all his life in Fraserburgh, was brought up in the harbour area of the town and was schooled at the Infant and Central schools before attending Fraserburgh Academy, where he was senior school dux.
Going on to Aberdeen University, he took three degrees: a BSc degree in Chemistry, his MB ChB and a Doctorate in Medicine (MD). He has also received a Master’s Degree (MSc) in Community Medicine from Edinburgh University and holds Fellowships of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Faculty of Public Health and the British Computer Society.
Commenting on this prestigious honour, Sir Lewis said: “I feel very humbled to be recognised by this honour. It has been a great privilege to serve NHS Scotland in a number of capacities and to assist the development of healthcare services and better ways of caring for patients and preventing illness.
“I am conscious of how much my contributions have crucially depended on the steadfast support of my family and by very many colleagues throughout Scotland, beginning in my practice at Peterhead and the Centre of Academic Primary Care at the University of Aberdeen.
“This award says less about my own endeavours and speaks more about the collective achievements of colleagues working on behalf of NHS Scotland.”
Sir Lewis is James Mackenzie Professor of General Practice at the University of Aberdeen, and has worked as a GP at Peterhead Health Centre and Community Hospital for almost all of his professional medical career. He is also an Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine with NHS Grampian.
Having written the book ‘Computers in Primary Care’, he has received a number of national and international awards for his contributions to health care including: the Perry Prize of the British Computer Society, the Eric Elder Medal of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, the Provost Medal of the Royal College of General Practitioners (North East Scotland) and the Mackenzie Lecture and Medal of the Royal College of General Practitioners (UK).
In 2001, Sir Lewis was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to general practice and primary care in Scotland.
He has led and chaired a number of national committees and reports including: computers/eHealth, research, immunisation, community hospitals, cardiovascular prevention/management, community pharmacy, academic GP careers, and promoting professionalism and excellence in medicine.
Sir Lewis currently chairs the Scottish Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee (SMASAC), which provides advice from all medical specialties to the Scottish Government and previously chaired the Biomedical and Therapeutic Research Committee of the Chief Scientist Office (BTRC).
He led the national implementation of the Meningococcal C and the Adult Pneumococcal Immunisation Programmes in Scotland and recently chaired the Service Delivery Group of the H1N1 (Swine Flu) Immunisation Programme.