Give Anne Diamond a Damehood for her work in raising awareness of Cot Death

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It came to my attention today, and I was left astonished, saddened and disgusted, that Anne Diamond has never been recognised by the Honours Committee for her life saving work in raising awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) also known as "cot death" – after her son, Sebastian, died from the syndrome in 1991.

In 1991, Anne successfully campaigned for research into Cot Death and she fronted and Co-founded the "Back to Sleep" campaign, telling parents to ensure that babies slept on their backs. And it is because of Anne, and the awareness of Cot Death that she raised, that all four of my children were always put to sleep on their backs and thankfully slept safely and I am so appreciative to Anne for making not just me, but millions of parents aware of this, despite going through such a tragic and heartbreaking time in her own life.

Since the "Back to Sleep" campaign there has been a significant fall in incidents of SIDS in the United Kingdom, from more than 2,000 per year to around 300, which has been attributed to the campaign and Anne was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the only time it has ever been awarded to a non-medic.

I think it's a disgrace that someone who has campaigned so tirelessly for decades, and who has given so much of her time to raising awareness of SIDS, and whose campaign has been attributed to saving thousands of infant lives per year, has yet to be recognised by the honours committee for her work.

I gratefully ask that you support this campaign to honour a truely deserved recipient, especially in a culture where honours appear to be given out like confetti to people who quite frankly, don't deserve them for services such as, being the tailor to the PM! This is a chance for the Honours system to become respected and reputable again. Anne is someone who in my eyes, has been a heroin in the background and it is about time that she is rightfully honoured.

I therefore call upon the honours committee, especially the chair of the specialist health honours committee, Sir Ian Carruthers, chief executive of the South West Strategic Health Authority, and the Prime Minister to award Anne Diamond with a Damehood for her research, work and campaigning into SIDS.



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