Martin Griffiths, consultant trauma and vascular surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust and national clinical director for violence reduction for NHS England, has been awarded a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021.
Martin is recognised for his work across the NHS in empowering communities and health professionals to challenge the attitudes and behaviours that result in violence and supporting people – many of them young – to make better choices.
Alongside his role as a surgeon based at The Royal London Hospital, part of Barts Health NHS Trust, for over 15 years Martin has worked in the community to educate young people about the grave consequences of knife and gun crime.
Martin set up the UK's first hospital ward-based violence reduction service at Barts Health in 2015. The award-winning programme sees hospital staff and case workers from the charity St Giles Trust help young patients injured through knife crime while they are still being treated in the hospital, to help break the cycle of violence at the point of crisis. The service works with victims to unravel the complex social reasons behind knife crime and offers holistic support to help prevent further harm. It has had incredible success in reducing retaliation and violent reoffending in this group of vulnerable young people.
More recently, Martin started a new mission – becoming a Covid-19 vaccinator at The Royal London Hospital and tackling vaccine hesitancy in ethnic minority communities.
Martin is also a passionate campaigner for fairness, equality and promoting diversity.
Martin said: “This award recognises what can be achieved when those who are committed and principled work collaboratively to address an issue central to our society. Our communities own the vision to addressing violence. Our role is to listen, challenge and support.
“On a personal level I’m not quite sure how to take things. I’m the product of a loving family, and a community that maintained its sense of self-worth and pride in its heritage. I’m the product of a state education and am proud to serve in the NHS which has served us all so well in the darkest of times this past year. I have the best colleagues who support, challenge and (rightly) ridicule me when I start believing the hype.”
Dame Alwen Williams, group chief executive at Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “I am hugely proud of Martin and his tireless work to improve the lives of young people across east London, and now across the UK. He is an asset to Barts Health and the wider NHS and incredibly deserving of this honour.”
In 2019, Martin was appointed London’s first NHS clinical director for violence reduction, a role he now holds nationally.
Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director for the NHS in London, said: “My sincere congratulations go to Martin upon being awarded a CBE. Martin is a surgeon, leader and role model for the NHS across London. He cares for patients affected by violence but also their families and communities, works tirelessly with local government and the voluntary sector to prevent further violence, and supports the wellbeing of young people. He and the teams that he leads should be very proud of this well-deserved honour.”