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Preston professor becomes a Dame for work with stroke survivors

Posted on - 2nd January, 2017 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - News, UCLan, University
Caroline Watkins who is now a Dame of the British Empire

Caroline Watkins who is now a Dame of the British Empire

The only stroke care professor in the UK who is based in Preston has been recognised by the Queen for her work.

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Professor Caroline Watkins at the University of Central Lancashire is now Dame Caroline.

She was given the New Year’s honour for a DBE (Dame of British Empire) for services to nursing and care – having spent 40 years caring and researching.

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.”

Read more: Student graduates despite suffering cardiac arrest

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

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.

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“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.

“I have been continually inspired by Caroline’s strong work ethic, commitment and innovation in her approach to research, motivated by a genuine desire to improve the lives, care and treatment of people and families affected by stroke. She has been an advocate for involving patients and carers in research and is a true exemplary role-model for person-centred research and care and student-centred education.”

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