Professor of Practice appointments bolster Strathclyde’s health and care expertise

Campus viewed from Rottenrow

The University of Strathclyde has appointed two new Professors of Practice – former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr Catherine Calderwood, and NHS 24 Nurse Consultant, Dr Dawn Orr.

The two appointments bolster the University’s clinical academic community and will support the activity of the Health & Care Futures at Strathclyde – an initiative, launched in March 2020, which aims to make an effective and sustained contribution to the future of health and care in the UK and beyond. 

Acting as the primary link between the university and NHS and care bodies, including Strategic Partners NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Golden Jubilee, and Glasgow Health & Social Care Partnership, Health and Care Futures supports and coordinates mutually beneficial activities in teaching, research, and innovation.

The Professors of Practice will help to connect University research and activity with NHS Boards and the care sector and help to develop postgraduate learning offering aimed at upskilling the NHS and care work force with a particular focus on the theme of ‘the Future Hospital and Beyond its Walls’.

The appointment of both Professors of Practice has been made possible thanks to Strathclyde Alumnus Leslie Stretch, whose generous philanthropic funding has established both posts as part of his wider support of Health and Care Futures at Strathclyde.

Insightful resource

Professor Roma Maguire, Director of HCF, said: “Increasing our clinical academic community will act as a resource and vehicle to support successful Health & Care Future’s activity and support more health and care practitioners to undertake education, research and knowledge exchange with Strathclyde.

Our Professors of Practice will also be a valuable and insightful resource in supporting funding applications and ensuring the impact of our research goes beyond the confines of academia.

Dr Calderwood served as Scotland’s first female Chief Medical Officer from 2015-2020 and was recently Executive National Clinical Director for Scotland in the NHS transformation organisation, the Centre for Sustainable Delivery of Healthcare. She has 30 years’ experience across the NHS in Scotland and England and has worked as a senior clinical adviser to both the Scottish and Westminster Governments.

Dr Calderwood said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as a Professor of Practice at the University of Strathclyde and look forward to working with academic colleagues to continue to innovate and improve Healthcare for the future.”

Fostering collaborations

Dr Orr’s role will involve fostering collaborations between the University of Strathclyde's Health & Cares Futures Initiative, the Health Tech Cluster, the Health and Wellbeing Research Theme, and various Heads of Departments across the University. Her expertise will be utilised to combine knowledge and drive development in the fields of diagnostics and wearables, digital health and AI, as well as advanced rehabilitation and assisted living.

After previously working in the Southern General Hospital (now the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital), Dr Orr’s NHS 24 career began in September 2002, fulfilling the role of Nurse Advisor. Career progression since then has included being promoted to Team Leader, and into her current role. She has also successfully completed a MSc Primary Care and Professional Doctorate within Nursing, which was supported by NHS 24 through its bursary scheme.

Dr Orr said: “It’s both a delight and an honour to be appointed as Professor of Nursing Practice within University of Strathclyde. My new role includes focusing on long-term solutions such as disease prevention, remote monitoring, and early diagnosis and detection, and due to the speed at which health technologies are advancing, it is an exciting time to be involved within a workstream such as this. I’m eager to get started and maximise all opportunities to improve patient experience and outcomes, while also empowering individuals and communities to lead healthier lives in their own environments.”

Professor Maguire added: “Dr Calderwood has demonstrated leadership at the highest level as Chief Medical Officer for Scotland and her strategy ‘Realistic Medicine’ has had an impact not only in Scotland, but across the UK and internationally.

“Within her Director Role at The Centre for Sustainable Delivery she has led this national unit to sustainably improve and transform Scotland’s healthcare systems through innovation, collaboration, and clinical leadership.

“Similarly, Dr Orr’s appointment will play a crucial role in shaping the University’s strategy for enhancing health and care research, nurturing talent pipelines, and designing education programmes.”