University of Bolton honours the NHS heroes on the frontline in the battle against Covid

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Executive Fiona Noden and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Stephen Hodgson, have both been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bolton.

Fiona joined the Trust at the beginning of the pandemic and the degree, a Doctor of Health Care, is one of the highest doctorates that can be awarded. The honorary degree is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to a particular field. In Fiona’s case it was bestowed in recognition of her commitment to improving health care and community wellbeing, and for her outstanding contribution and leadership, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fiona has the ideal background for a successful career in NHS management. Having started her career as a radiographer she then become a business graduate. So it’s no surprise that she boasts such an impressive record of achievement. Her professionalism and talent provide a shining example of NHS leadership at its very best. And as a mentor for aspiring NHS managers, she will be an inspirational role model for future leaders.

Fiona accepted her degree at the University of Bolton’s graduation ceremony. On receiving the award, Fiona said: “It was a huge honour to receive this degree. I feel privileged to accept the doctorate, not only on behalf of myself, but also in recognition of the exceptional challenge faced by Bolton NHS Foundation Trust staff and volunteers during the last year.

“This has been an extremely difficult time and throughout, I have been very proud to have worked with some truly remarkable and dedicated people.”

Mr Stephen Hodgson, Consultant Upper Limb Surgeon at the Royal Bolton Hospital has spoken of his pride at being made a Doctor of Health Care for his outstanding contribution to Education and Health.

Mr Hodgson, M.B. CH.B., F.R.C.S. (ORTH), M.D. has been a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Bolton since 1993, said it was a “great honour to accept this on behalf of all the staff at the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust”.

He added: “I would like to wish students graduating this year all the best in their future career.

“My message would be don’t stop learning – learn to love what you do and most importantly, learn to be a team player.”

Mr Hodgson’s career has included various leadership roles, including Clinical Lead for Orthopaedics, Associate Medical Director, Anaesthetics and Surgery, Head of Elective Care Division and from September 2013 to August 2019, Medical Director of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust. Since stepping down as Medical Director he has worked overseeing quality and efficiency improvement work across six health trusts in Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Mr Hodgson received the award in a unique Covid-secure ceremony which was being filmed for a special movie documenting this year’s innovative ‘Alternative Graduation’.

The University is one of the only ones in the UK to have invited graduands from this year and last to be presented with their degrees in person and in their gowns, giving them the chance to have official photographs of their special day.

Photo credit: The Bolton News 

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