lives founder is honoured

A FOUNDER of the LIVES charity, Dr Richard Harper-Smith, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Dr Harper-Smith, 78, of Tetford, said: “I am as much delighted for my wife, Lesley, who puts in as much work behind the scenes as I ever did.”

It was nearly 40 years ago that Dr Harper-Smith went to see Lincolnshire’s Chief Constable with the germ of an idea for an integrated service so that GPs could work closely with the emergency services and be summoned quickly to road accidents in their area.

By coincidence, Dr Michael Cooper, of Nettleham, went to see the Chief Constable a couple of days later with the same idea, he said.

“As a result we got in touch and started work together on the plan,” said Dr Harper-Smith

In the very early days of LIVES Dr Cooper, who was the chairman, died. “That was a tragedy and also a very serious blow to LIVES,” said Dr Harper-Smith.

He took over as chairman and the charity continued to develop into the huge operation it is today, with hundreds of trained volunteers answering more than 1,000 calls a month to emergencies like cardiac arrests as well as accidents, working closely with doctors and paramedics. Dr Harper-Smith, who studied medicine in Dublin, served in the army and travelled the world as a ship’s doctor before becoming the Tetford GP in 1961. He retired from his Tetford practice in 1995.

l A civil servant at RAF Coningsby has also been awarded an MBE.

Yvonne McVie, an ex-pupil of Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Horncastle, has worked in various sections at the base for 32 years and is currently the capital works project officer.

She has been responsible for ensuring that major developments at Coningsby have run smoothly in recent years in readiness for the arrival of the Typhoon aircraft. “I am extremely proud and honoured,” Mrs McVie said.