A DOCTOR from Grange-over-Sands who is 'heavily involved' in dealing with the Salisbury nerve agent attack has been awarded a CBE.

Dr Nick Gent was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to health protection.

"I was very pleased," he said. "It's nice to have your work recognised and it's also very nice for your family who have had to put up with an awful lot through the times I have been away or working too much."

Dr Gent, who grew up in Bolton, qualified in 1984 after training at the University of Liverpool.

He moved to Cumbria with his wife in 1985, working as a consultant to the South Cumbrian Health Authority. He then became a director of public health for Lancaster before taking up the same position for Morecambe Bay.

His work took him overseas, including time working on healthcare reconstruction in the Balkans following conflicts.

Dr Gent, 57, moved into health protection work, becoming the director for Cumbria and Lancashire's health protection services and was involved in dealing with the Barrow Legionnaires Disease outbreak.

Next, he moved to work with the First Health Protection Agency and Public Health England, working as a specialist in chemical, biological and radiological materials and their consequences. He also helped to deal with the response to major incidents in both the UK and overseas.

"I've been very involved in many of the big incidents you see or read about in the UK," he said. "But also providing health and support in places like the Philippines, and the Caribbean, giving support during the typhoons.

"It's been a wonderful career. I've seen and done a lot of things, working in interesting areas. At the moment I'm very heavily involved in dealing with the nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury.

"Things have happened to me and interesting work has come along and in the meantime I've managed to live in a beautiful part of the world, even though my work is all over the world."

Dr Gent, who is business partner and registered manager for the Peninsula Medical Practice in Grange, said that given the work that he does is often related to significant threats and disasters, he is no longer surprised by what he encounters.

"It's taken a few years to get to that place," he said. "But it's the best way of tackling things, coolly and calmly. Unfortunately it doesn't surprise me with things like Salisbury that people will use and abuse unpleasant weapons like that."