A chief nurse has been awarded an honorary doctorate for her work developing the future nursing workforce.

Kathryn Halford, chief nurse and deputy chief executive at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the academic board of the University of East London (UEL).

Kathryn said: “It was a complete surprise as I knew nothing about it. I was delighted when I received the letter and it’s really good recognition of our work.”

As well as her work at the trust, which runs King George hospital in Ilford, Kathryn also worked with UEL to set up a registered nurses course, which was not previously available in north east London.

Kathryn has also established the trust as one of the pioneers of the nursing associate scheme, opening a career in nursing to a much wider pool of people.

She also introduced the trust’s award-winning senior intern scheme, providing support to new nurses joining the workforce which has slashed the rate at which the newly qualified leave.

Nurses are given access to senior interns, experienced nurses, who support them with any issues they may have.

Professor Amanda Broderick, vice-chancellor and president at UEL, said: “The award is in recognition for Kathryn’s longstanding national contribution to nursing, high quality care, and patient experience, and her outstanding support for developing the next generation of nurses.”