Two women who exposed appalling care at Stafford Hospital were today recognised in the New Year Honours list.
Cure the NHS founder Julie Bailey and whistleblower Helene Donnelly have both received awards.
Ms Bailey has been awarded a CBE for services to the care of older people and Mrs Donnelly an OBE, in recognition of her work to raise concerns and improve care for patients.
The pair were among a long list of recipients including former Birmingham City managing director Karren Brady who gets a CBE for services to women in business, actress Penelope Keith, singer Katherine Jenkins and DJ Pete Tong.
Locally, former Codsall High School pupil Paul Tucker, the former deputy governor at the Bank of England, is to be rewarded with a knighthood. Sir Paul spent more than three decades at the Bank.
In sport, Birmingham’s Ann Jones, who won Wimbledon in 1969 is awarded a CBE, but Andy Murray and David Beckham were both overlooked for knighthoods.
Other recipients include Mel Evans from Cannock, awarded an MBE for services to Crown Green Bowling and community worker Sylvia Harris, of Wolverhampton, who gets an MBE for supporting the elderly.
Lecturer Dr Simon Cotton from Stourbridge receives the British Empire Medal for services to chemistry and education.
Musical director June Davenhill helped launch Pelsall Ladies Choir in 1963 and is also honoured with a British Empire Medal, while Jayne Leeson, from Cradley Heath, is awarded an MBE for services to people with intellectual disabilities.
Attention was today focusing on Ms Bailey, however. She became the face of a campaign calling for a public inquiry into failings at Stafford after the death of her 86-year-old mother Bella in 2007.
She said today: “Mum would be extremely proud of me and it is to her I dedicate not only this award, but also our continuing struggle for a safer NHS. I could have achieved nothing without the support of Cure the NHS who provide me with the strength to stand up to the ongoing denial and indifference I still face from some.”
Former Stafford Hospital nurse Mrs Donnelly blew the whistle on appalling care at the hospital – which led to hundreds of preventable deaths between 2005 and 2009.
Speaking about her OBE today Mrs Donnelly said: “I’m delighted and really this honour is a recognition for everyone who is trying to genuinely raise concerns and build a more open and honest health service.”