Damehood for Professor Caroline Watkins

CLAHRC NWC Director of Capacity Building, Professor Caroline Watkins, is now Professor Dame Caroline Watkins after being given the New Year’s honour of a DBE (Dame of British Empire) for services to nursing and care – having spent 40 years both caring and researching.

The only stroke care professor in the UK, Caroline is based at the University Of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) in Preston.

Dame Watkins said: “When I got the letter I couldn’t believe it. I thought it couldn’t be real.

“To be knighted is amazing and I can’t quite get my head around it. My husband and son are all really proud of me, and my mum will be when she finds out. I’ve got a busy diary next year but I will of course not miss the chance to receive this honour from the Queen.

“I am so grateful to all the amazing people I have worked with in the past, and still do work with now, who work so hard to try to make a difference to other people’s lives. That also includes the people I have met along the way who have had a stroke themselves, and yet give up their time and their precious energy to try to change things for other people for the better.

“Although this wonderful honour has been bestowed on me, I could never have done half the things I have done without the wonderful people around me at work and at home.”

Dame Watkins has been a lecturer at UCLan for the past 15 years and is also Director of the Lancashire Clinical Trials Unit.

Professor Mark Gabbay, Director of CLAHRC NWC, said: ”This is well deserved recognition. Caroline is not only leading pioneering research as part of our research in the field of stroke but has also successfully built increased research capacity in the region by supporting and developing research ideas, projects and researchers in our CLAHRC NWC partner organisations.”

Earlier this year Dame Watkins was recognised with a Special Recognition Life After Stroke Award by the Stroke Association for her contribution to improving the lives of stroke survivors through better stroke care and research.

Executive Dean of the College of Health and wellbeing at UCLan Nigel Harrison said: “When I have been at national and international health forums, conferences and committees, I have constantly heard positive reference being made to Caroline’s work and how this has been used to guide researchers and clinicians from a variety of professional backgrounds.

 “Caroline has led local and national committees, forums and advisory groups and initiated large-scale cross-country collaborative stroke research, leading and guiding others to achieve the best research outcomes.”

Listen to Caroline's interview on BBC Radio Lancashire discussing her Damehood (2:22 starts)

(pic credit: blogpreston.co.uk)  

More articles     Posted on: 03 January 2017