Maria Cann recognised for patient involvement work by the University of West London
23 July 2015
Maria at Wembley Stadium after receiving her award
Leading figures in the health sector were honoured by the University of West London’s (UWL) College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare on Thursday 23 July. The University’s annual graduation ceremony took place at Wembley Stadium and the honorary degree recipients were joined by more than 1600 graduates.
Receiving honorary degrees were Sandra Hatton, former Managing Director of Health Education Thames Valley; and Maria Cann, founder member of patient charity MRSA Action UK.
Professor Heather Loveday, Director of the Richard Wells Research Centre, Healthcare Associated Infection Research Network, and President of the Infection Prevention Society, nominated Maria for the lifetime award and gave the citation at the ceremony, during which Professor Loveday said:
‘Maria has been a member of the Healthcare Associated Infection Service User Research Forum since it was set up in 2006. The forum is hosted by the Richard Wells Research Centre and the College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare and the UWL, which has provided valuable support providing research, commissioning and patient perspectives, something that is probably unique in such a sensitive and often politically contentious area.’
‘The charity was a key stakeholder in the UK government’s target to reduce MRSA bacteraemias. MRSA Action UK is also involved in working with colleagues in healthcare to find solutions to the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, and for the provision of information written by patients for patients.’
‘Maria’s association with the Richard Wells Research Centre has helped to ensure that the research we undertake has the experience and outcome of patients at its heart. We look forward to Maria continuing to work with researchers and students to shape harm free care in future.’
On receiving her honorary Master of Science (MSc), Maria said, 'To me, this award symbolises our collective journey and achievements, and will help us to continue to rise to the challenges faced in tackling healthcare associated infections and antimicrobial resistance. Without the support of the University, colleagues in healthcare and those closest to me I wouldn't have been able to use this experience to develop information with the charity MRSA Action UK, which I am told has helped so many.'
Derek Butler, Chair of MRSA Action UK, attended the ceremony with Maria, and said ‘this is a well-deserved award, Maria does this work entirely voluntarily and gives 100% in everything she does, we are very proud of her. The charity is honoured that she has been recognised in this way’
The graduation ceremony marked the end of the academic year for the University where 96% of students are in employment or further education within six months of graduating. Each of the University’s eight schools confer honorary degrees to recognize business success, contributions to civic and cultural life and long-term support for the University’s work.
The University’s July 2015 Honorary Award recipients are:
Maria Cann, founding member of MRSA Action UK – awarded Master of Science (Hon MSc)
Dr Martin Ellerby, composer – awarded Doctor of Letters (Hon DLitt)
Guy Fletcher OBE, songwriter and Chair of the British Performing Right Society – awarded Doctor of Letters (Hon DLitt)
Dr Sandra Hatton, former Managing Director in the NHS – awarded Doctor of Science (Hon DSc)
Majid Mangalji, Founder and President of Westmont Hospitality Group – awarded Doctor of Letters (Hon DLitt)
Paul Preston, former Deputy Chairman of Which? – awarded Doctor of Letters (Hon DLitt)
Colin Sandy, former Financial Director of Amshold Group and Tottenham Hotspur FC – awarded Doctor of Letters (Hon DLitt)
Sue Threader, engineer and Bridge Clerk (Chief Executive) of the Rochester Bridge Trust – awarded Doctor of Science (Hon DSc)
Presentation of the award
Procession after the award
Maria's acceptance speech
Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Graduands, and Guests
Firstly I congratulate Graduands on your achievements. Your family, friends and the University will be very proud of you.
I would like to thank Professor Heather Loveday for nominating me for this award. To me it symbolises our collective journey and achievements and will help us to continue to the rise to the challenges faced in healthcare and how we make strides to tackle healthcare associated infections and stall antimicrobial resistance, and I say stall because it’s never going to go away.
When I joined colleagues from the University and other patient representatives in 2006 I didn’t realise just what an impact our work would have. I was a founding member of a small charity founded by people who had been profoundly affected by the loss of loved ones to infections that may have been preventable.
It took a while to reap the benefits of patients, researchers and clinicians working collaboratively. But as time went on it was obvious that this approach would help how we design research to make care safer, and respond to the challenges that tackling healthcare associated infections, antimicrobial resistance and more complex surgical procedures bring. And work goes on in helping to set priorities for research.
The experience and knowledge gained during my work with colleagues has helped me on a personal level, in providing support to people when they are feeling anxious and at their most vulnerable. Without the support of the University, colleagues in healthcare and those closest to me I wouldn’t have been able to use this experience to develop information with the charity MRSA Action UK, which I am told has helped so many.
This is a great institution and everyone here today should be very proud of their achievements. I know you will all make a difference to people’s lives with the knowledge and experience you will take forward with you.
I am really honoured. Thank you.
Professor Heather Loveday, Maria Cann and Alison Tingle, Principal Research Programme Officer after the ceremony