Leading NHS figure receives Honorary Doctorate

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Date: 6th Sep 2018

Yvonne Coghill CBE, NHS England's Director of Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) Implementation, has received an Honorary Doctorate from Buckinghamshire New University.

The well-respected figure is receiving the honour for her outstanding contribution to race equality and diversity in the healthcare sector and her inspirational leadership.Yvonne Coghill CBE

Coghill was presented with the honorary award at Wycombe Swan Theatre in High Wycombe on Thursday 6 September during a week of graduation celebrations.

The WRES was introduced to the NHS in April 2015 to ensure employees from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment in the workplace.

Coghill is also a member of the equality and diversity council at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in the United States, where she has helped develop its inclusion strategy, delivered workshops and co-chaired its national forum in Orlando in 2015.

Speaking about her Honorary Doctorate, Coghill said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be recognised by Buckinghamshire New University for my work and contributions to race equality and diversity in healthcare.

“It has been a journey of challenges and breakthroughs, but without some of the fabulous people and teams I have worked with and continue to work with this would not have been possible.”

Karen Buckwell-Nutt, Dean of Nursing and Allied Health, said: “Evidence shows that BME representation in leadership posts within the NHS are not proportionate to the demographic of nurses and midwifes.

“Yvonne not only bucks this trend but she is driving change through her role as NHS England's Director of Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) Implementation.

“She has been widely recognised as an inspirational leader and a role module not only for our BME nursing students but for all healthcare professionals.

“Despite recognition of the highest order in the form of a CBE Yvonne’s humility and humble nature means she is able to connect with our Nursing students.”

Coghill was awarded an OBE for services to healthcare in 2010 and this year has been awarded Fellowships of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), King’s College London and a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Her previous roles include working at the Department of Health as Private Secretary to the Chief Executive of the NHS, Sir Nigel Crisp.

In her three years at the department, Coghill held several strategic posts, including Programme Director for the Cleaner Hospitals Programme and External Relations Nursing Officer to the Chief Nursing Officer of England.

In 2013 she was voted by colleagues in the NHS as one of the top 50 most inspirational women, one of the top 50 most inspirational nurse leaders, and one of the top 50 BME pioneers, two years in a row, and in December she was included in the Health Service Journal top 100 influential leaders list.

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