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Lord Willis awarded honorary doctorate

Lord Willis was nominated for his contributions to healthcare and support of the School of Health Sciences


Lord Willis of Knaresborough has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from City, University of London.

Nominated for his contributions to healthcare and support of the School of Health Sciences at City, Lord Willis received his award on Tuesday 17th July 2018 at a ceremony held in the Barbican.

Lord Willis was educated at City of Leeds and Carnegie College and the University of Birmingham, and has since gone on to show visionary thinking and leadership on a range of issues including the NHS and social care, helping to change health care education and practice for the better, including the introduction of the Nursing Assistant role.

Having spent 20 years as head teacher of two large urban comprehensives, Lord Willis entered Parliament in 1997, becoming Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills before being elected Chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee in 2005.

Awarded a peerage in 2010, Lord Willis sat on the Science and Technology Committee until 2015 and dedicated much of his time to research in areas including science and innovation and health policy.

His leadership on a variety of health issues can be seen throughout a range of policies and publications, and he was a co-author of the recently published Lords Report into the future viability of the NHS and Social Care. Following his seminal report on graduate nurse education in 2012 he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing.

He recently led the Health Education England ‘Shape of Caring Review’ into the education and training of  nursing and health care staff, and his proposal to introduce the Nursing Associate role has resulted in 30 students being trained at City in the first wave of the pilot  scheme, which in June, received fully regulated status from Parliament. During this period he played a vital role in the future of nursing, including the development of new standards, at a time when the profession is evolving to meet different challenges in the sector.

Speaking to students at graduation, Lord Willis said:

“Never has there been a better time to become a graduate nurse. You are the key to unlocking a 21st century health care system. Celebrate your achievements today and continue the journey of discovery tomorrow.”

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