Brian Webster-Henderson June 2024-5

University and nursing leader awarded OBE in King’s Birthday Honours

The University of Cumbria is thrilled to congratulate Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Brian Webster-Henderson who has been awarded an OBE in the King’s Birthday Honours.

A professor of nursing, Professor Webster-Henderson is recognised for services to the NHS and education.

He is a recognised and established national leader in relation to nursing education, healthcare and workforce.

A proud Scot hailing from Carnoustie, Professor Webster-Henderson said: “I am very humbled to receive this honour in the King's Birthday Awards.

“I've had a great career as a nurse, caring for people with a range of conditions in either mental health or emergency acute care, and then moving into higher education. I've had the best of both worlds, and as a nursing leader, there's a lot to do with the profession in the UK to make it an attractive profession for people to come into. I’m glad to think I’ve had a part to play in that and will continue to do so.”

In 2022 Professor Webster-Henderson was awarded a prestigious Fellowship of the Queen’s Nursing Institute.

He has also served as Chair of the Council of Deans of Health, the body which acts as the voice of 106 UK university faculties that are engaged in education and/or research for nursing, midwifery, and the allied health professions.

He also works at the highest levels of strategic discussions on issues such as workforce development, curriculum, research, and policy. He meets regularly with Chief Executives and policymakers from leading organisations such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Royal Colleges, and Professional Bodies, participating in discussions that shape education, training, and the future of the healthcare workforce of the UK.

At the University of Cumbria, Professor Webster-Henderson provides executive leadership across the institution’s academic, research and knowledge exchange operations and its student support services.

He leads too on the university’s equality, diversity, inclusion, and well-being agendas, and is a governor at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and a Trustee for the Fells Academy Trust in Cumbria.

Professor Brian Webster-Henderson's career stretches for more than four decades and is founded in working in mental health and adult nursing with a focus on substance misuse, simulation and creative curriculum design. He also holds degrees in politics, advanced practice and education.

Professor Webster-Henderson has also worked in the higher education sector in both England and Scotland, holding senior positions in the University of Southampton, Robert Gordon University Aberdeen, and Edinburgh Napier University before joining University of Cumbria in 2018.

Building upon this wealth of experience, Professor Brian Webster Henderson is currently spearheading the establishment of the Pears Cumbria School of Medicine in a unique partnership between Imperial College London and University of Cumbria.

With its tailored, bespoke curriculum, designed to address regional healthcare and workforce needs, the graduate-entry medical school will train future generations of doctors for the local area.

Professor Webster-Henderson is also part of the University of Cumbria team working with Cumberland Council on the Cumberland Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC). The Cumberland HDRC is a £4.8m project funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research to create a research informed approach to excellent services within the Cumberland council area.

On news of the award University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell DL commented: “We are very proud of Brian and the outstanding contributions he has made, and indeed continues to make, to both the health and higher education sectors. He is a fantastic example of a truly collaborative leader, values-driven and working for the common good.  He’s such a super role model and our university is a better one for having him amongst us as together our team continues to drive our mission in, of and for Cumbria and beyond.”

WATCH: Professor Brian Webster-Henderson reacts to the news


Notes to editors

  1. For interviews, contact the University of Cumbria communications team via email Alternatively, contact 07977223258.
  2. A full list of the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours and information about the Honours System can be found at