Royal Hospital Model of Care recognised in two awards at King’s Birthday Honours

14th June 2024

The Royal Hospital Chelsea’s model of care for older veterans has been recognised through awards for two members of staff in The King's Birthday Honours list this year.

The Governor of the Royal Hospital, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw OBE KCB DL, said:

“Two of our members of staff receiving awards in the King’s Birthday Honours list is a real tribute to the hard work and dedication of all the staff here.  The Commissioners and I are delighted to learn that our former Chief Executive Officer, Gary Lashko and Residential Care Manager, Bobbette Blake, both of whom served the Hospital ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ have been recognised in the King’s Birthday honours for their hard work, professionalism and dedication in their respective roles.” 

Gary Lashko retired in March this year after an impressive 8-year tenure. Supported by his senior leadership team, he improved governance and strengthened the Hospital’s management to ensure the highest standards of modern care for our Veterans. Gary was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). 

The Governor added: 

“Gary provided careful stewardship through the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic and the waves of economic turbulence which followed, safeguarding the Pensioners, the estate, and the financial stability of this iconic institution. During lockdown he stayed on site where, alongside his leadership responsibilities, did his bit joining the team taking food to Pensioners isolating in their berths.

“As the first civilian in the Chief Executive post, Gary dispelled any doubts and quickly won the respect of the Pensioners and military community through his personality and wealth of third-sector experience in both social housing and care settings. Under his leadership we improved our regulatory compliance and ensured our care remained best-practice. He struck a balance between bringing modern approaches while respecting our enduring traditions, heritage, and military values. Thanks to Gary, and the team he built around him, the Hospital is strongly placed to face the future. We congratulate him whole-heartedly.

“Bobbette has also worked tirelessly in her delivery of Residential Care services to the Chelsea Pensioners over the past 11 years at the Hospital. Like many of our care staff Bobbette has shown an incredible work ethic to ensure that our Model of Care is effective, while going ‘above and beyond’ to ensure Pensioners’ needs are met and their lives are fulfilled and happy. 

“Bobbette is completely deserving of this honour, and I congratulate Bobbette on being awarded the British Empire Medal [BEM].

“People identify the scarlet coats of the Pensioners around the country, but many do not understand the dedication and tremendous efforts our staff such as Bobbette go to, which very often significantly exceed the requirements of their posting.

“Gary and Bobette’s recognition through these awards is not only a tribute to two outstanding members of staff, but recognition for the passion and commitment of so many here supporting the care of our Veterans in recognition of their service to the Nation."

Royal Hospital Chelsea Newsletter

Stay up to date with what's going on at The Royal Hospital by signing up for our e‑newsletter.

News

View the archive

Two Chelsea Pensioners opening the gate to the Soane Stable Yard
Royal Hospital Chelsea joins the Chelsea Heritage Quarter and Chelsea History Festival this September with special previews of the Soane Stable Yard

We are delighted to announce that the Royal Hospital Chelsea will be part of the Chelsea History Festival once again this year, from Wednesday 25 to Sunday 29 September 2024 and part of the new Chelsea Heritage Quarter – London’s new heritage destination. 

King's Birthday Honours 2024
Royal Hospital Model of Care recognised in two awards at King’s Birthday Honours

The Royal Hospital Chelsea’s model of care for older veterans has been recognised through awards for two members of staff in The King's Birthday Honours list this year.