Brian Webster Henderson

University appoints pioneering Pro Vice Chancellor of Health


The University of Cumbria is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Brian Webster-Henderson as its Pro Vice Chancellor of Health to lead the establishment, strategy and operation of a new Institute of Health.


Brian Webster-Henderson is a Professor of Nursing and a recognised and established national leader in relation to nursing and health care. He is Chair of the Council of Deans of Health UK which represents the university sector across the whole of the UK, 85 universities who provide nursing, midwifery and allied health profession education and research, and works at the highest level of strategic discussions on issues such as workforce, funding, regulation, curriculum design, research and policy. He regularly meets with Chief Executives of a range of influential organisations such Nursing and Midwifery Council, Royal Colleges and Professional Bodies and is at the heart of a range of discussions with the Department of Health with a view to influencing the future healthcare workforce of the UK.


Professor Webster-Henderson recently gave evidence to the UK Governments Health Select Committee on the future of the nursing workforce and is committed to seeing a growth in provision to continuing professional development opportunities for qualified health care professionals – a key theme in the evidence he gave.


Brian holds an adjunct Professorship with the highly sought-after John Hopkins University, School of Nursing & Midwifery in Baltimore USA and as such has extensive insight into international health care challenges and models of education.  He is a frequent invited international and national keynote speaker with invitations to present across the world on issues such as workforce, leadership and professional advancement in countries such as Australia, Canada, USA, India and Turkey. His recent book with colleague Professor Ruth Taylor entitled The Essentials of Nursing Leadership reflects Brian’s growing passion in relation to professional leadership in healthcare, an area that he feels needs greater focus in the current climate. He is a reviewer for a range of academic journals, an experienced external examiner as well as an established leader and authority in education.


Professor Webster-Henderson brings with him a wealth of experience, insight and ideas to support the sustainable growth of health care education, research and evidence based practice to support the needs of diverse health care in Cumbria. He is suited to working with organisations and practitioners in a solutions’ focused approach in both rural and urban areas and has a track record of experience in supporting local provision.


Brian has an established career working in both mental health and adult nursing with a focus on substance misuse, simulation and creative curriculum design. He holds degrees in politics, advanced practice and education and has been a nurse for 36 years working in a range of senior roles in higher education and clinical practice.


Originally from Scotland, Professor Webster-Henderson has worked in the higher education sector in both England and Scotland and has held senior positions in the University of Southampton as Director of Education/ Deputy Head of School, Robert Gordon University Aberdeen as Professor of Nursing and Head of the School of Nursing & Midwifery and more recently at Edinburgh Napier University. There he worked as University Dean of Learning & Teaching where he held responsibility for all the university’s education portfolio and established a Department of Learning, Teaching and Enhancement. 


Brian is delighted to be joining the Executive Team at the University of Cumbria and supporting the growth, development and expansion of education, scholarship and research in healthcare with partners both regionally and internationally.


“We are thrilled to be welcoming Brian to our university,” University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell, said. “Brian is a national leader in the field of nursing and health care, with considerable expertise and standing. I have no doubt, working with and through others, that he will deliver significant impact to our region as well as our university. I look forward greatly to him joining our executive team.” 


Professor Brian Webster-Henderson (pictured) will commence his role on 3 December.