University of Derby PVC Dean to receive MBE from the Queen

10 October 2020

Dr Paula Holt, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean at the University of Derby, has been honoured with an MBE for her services to Education, the NHS and Veteran Health in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

The list of Honours, which is published twice a year by the Government’s Cabinet Office, awards a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) to someone for making a positive impact in their line of work, and to those who have usually made life better for other people.

Inspired by her years of service as a practising general nurse, mental health nurse and an army officer, Paula has dedicated her career to delivering high quality care and improving mental health and support services for members of the Forces and their families.

In her roles as NHS Trust Governor, Non-Executive Director of the Primary Care Development Centre, and Executive Regulatory Lead of the Council of Deans of Health, Paula’s work to improve the lives of patients in the NHS and deliver a high quality student experience is unwavering.

As Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University, Paula was instrumental in developing the pioneering Nursing Associate scheme, which has since secured an accredited pathway to support the workforce for Nursing nationally.

Paula also played a pivotal role in establishing the Nursing provision in Chesterfield, at the University’s St Helena site, attracting mature entrants to the profession, opening doors for those who didn’t think it was possible, and helping them to realise their potential.

In 2019, Paula spearheaded the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant for University of Derby and led the University to achieve the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition scheme (silver), which encourages businesses to recognise the value of veterans in the organisation. Through her voluntary directorship of Soldiers Arts Academy, Paula has helped provide serving and retired soldiers with a route into the arts.

Speaking about her MBE, Dr Paula Holt said: “I am honoured and humbled by this award as I feel I am just doing my job alongside amazing colleagues at the University of Derby. I am blessed to have had an incredible career so far in the NHS, the Army and Higher Education, and I am keen to continue to support others to realise their ambitions, and to continue to impact positively on the lives and wellbeing of others.”

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, added: “I am delighted that Paula has been recognised with an MBE and I would like to congratulate her on this significant achievement.

“Paula is an inspirational leader and innovator within the University and the health sector, and her commitment to higher education within the nursing and allied professionals field is exemplary. She has influenced the lives of many through her dedication to social mobility and through personal endeavour and passion to create a world-class workforce for the NHS.”

Dr Paula Holt
Dr Paula Holt, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean at the University of Derby, has been honoured with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

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