‘Humbled’ Hartlepool-raised professor awarded MBE by Prince William

Professor Jane Nixon with her MBE.
Professor Jane Nixon with her MBE.

A professor raised in Hartlepool has spoken of her pride after being handed an MBE by royalty for her work in trying to help those suffering from painful skin 

Jane Nixon, who is deputy director of the Leeds Clinical Trials Research Unit, has been made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for 
ground-breaking health research.

Professor Jane Nixon MBE.

Professor Jane Nixon MBE.

She now lives in Leeds, but Prof Nixon’s roots remain firmly embedded in Hartlepool, having grown up on the Headland with parents Geoff and Margaret Bridel 
who ran a manufacturing company, Sleepmaker Ltd, for more than 20 years in the town.

She began her career as a nurse at Hartlepool General Hospital and to this day still talks of the fact that her interest in health research was inspired by colleagues who set such a high standard in nursing care in her early days of nursing.

Prof Nixon was at Buckingham Palace where she was handed her honour by HRH the Duke of Cambridge.

Speaking to the Mail about her experience, she said: “It is very humbling to receive the award.

“I work alongside clinicians who do amazing work on a day-to-day basis and I work within and lead a large team of dedicated and expert NHS staff and University academics.”

It was during her early days in nursing that as a ward sister in Hartlepool, working with older patients, she noticed some patients who went to the operating 
theatre would return to the ward with painful skin ulcers. Prof Nixon gained a Masters in 1996 and PhD in 2001 while a senior nurse in the NHS, and moved to the University of Leeds and became deputy director of the Clinical Trials Research Unit in 2002.

During her career Prof Nixon has secured over £5million in research funding for multiple pressure ulcer prevention research trials and projects.

Her work has provided the foundation for practice change in critical areas such as patient safety, serious incident investigation and patient management.