Honorary doctorate given to retired Scarborough nurse

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A retired Scarborough nurse has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of York.

Dianne Swiers, who was deputy chief nurse at Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, was presented with the doctorate during a ceremony at York Minster.

Other recipients at the ceremony included artist David Hockney and York Museums Trust chief executive Janet Barnes.

A spokesman from the university, which has marks its 50th anniversary this year, said it wanted to honour people who had made “outstanding contributions to Yorkshire”.

Dianne first came to Scarborough Hospital in 1985 – at that time, aged just 23, she was the youngest Senior Ward Sister to be appointed in the region.

Over the years Dianne worked her way up from Senior Ward Sister on the orthopaedic ward to Deputy Chief Nurse. She has undertaken a degree in nursing, a PGCE and a Masters degree in Law, as well as a two year secondment to work with other trusts and universities.

Dianne was also responsible for introducing the NVQ programme at Scarborough health trust.

She explained: “I was very aware at the time that more than half of the nurses didn’t complete their training, as they went in to it not knowing what was involved.

“So we introduced a scheme where people to be trained in hospital who didn’t have the qualifications to get into nursing.

“It was very successful and we’ve had hundreds of people complete their nursing training who previously wouldn’t have had the opportunity.

“I feel passionately that people who miss out on education should not be written off.”

Dianne said that receiving her doctorate at York Minster was “an incredible experience”, adding: “I couldn’t help but be inspired by the ceremony.

“It was incredible to be in such eminent company. I had a fantastic couple of days.”

Now retired, Dianne is still busy doing volunteer work. She is chairman of the board of governors at St George’s School and is soon to chair St Augustine’s.