A Scottish GP has expressed his delight after receiving an OBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list to acknowledge his outstanding contribution to healthcare in Scotland.
Dr George Crooks, joint medical director of NHS 24 and the Scottish Ambulance Service, explained that the letter was a very welcome surprise.
"I was very surprised to receive the letter, but absolutely delighted," he said.
"While I am personally honoured to be made an OBE, I believe that this award doesn't just reflect on my own contribution to the success of NHS 24 and the Scottish Ambulance Service.
"This award is a tribute to the hard work of all those within these organisations who deliver first-class healthcare services to the public across Scotland every day."
Glasgow-born Dr Crooks had a GP practice in Aberdeen for over 20 years before he became the director of primary care for NHS Grampian.
Dr Crooks was appointed medical director of Scotland's telehealth service NHS 24 after taking part in a review of the service in 2005 and redesigning the clinical service model.
A year later he also became the medical director of the Scottish Ambulance Service.
In 2009, Dr Crooks was a key member of the team that led Scotland's response to the H1N1 flu pandemic, and was also integral in the design and operation of the Scottish Flu Response Centre (SFReC), which was delivered by NHS 24.
He is also a key figure in the delivery of telehealthcare and is currently leading the innovative work of the Scottish Centre for Telehealth, which became part of NHS 24 in April 2010.
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