Northumbria University, Newcastle has today awarded Lord Walton of Detchant with an honorary degree in recognition of his long career as a world-leading neurologist.
Now retired, Lord Walton has held the presidencies of the General Medical Council of Great Britain, The British Medical Association, The Royal Society of Medicine and the World Federation of Neurology. His work as an internationally-acclaimed expert in neurology has seen him work in some of the best hospitals in the world – including several here in the North East.
Born in 1922 as the son of two teachers and the grandson of a miner, Lord Walton spent his formative years in Spennymoor. With an early passion for medicine, he was encouraged by his parents to study at Newcastle Medical School where he graduated in 1945 with First Class Honours and a distinction in all subjects.
As a doctor in the Royal Army Medical Corps, Lord Walton rose through the ranks to become Second-in-Command of the Hospital Ship, Oxfordshire. Returning to civilian life, he embarked on a career that took him from House Physician at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary to become one of the most respected experts in Neurology of his generation.
Awarded the Life Peerage of Lord Walton of Detchant in 1989, he has since contributed as a cross-bencher to debates in the House of Lords – including as chair of the House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics. His extensive medical expertise has helped inform laws involving neurology and healthcare for rare diseases.
As loyal Patron of The Little Foundation, Lord Walton’s generosity continues to support the charity’s research into reducing the incidence of conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, dyslexia and epilepsy as well as deafness and blindness.
He became an Honorary Freeman of the City of Newcastle in 1980 and is an Honorary Fellow of many Royal Colleges in the UK and twenty other countries. Lord Walton is currently the President of the College of Occupational Therapists, Uk.
Lord Walton graduates today with students from Northumbria’s health and life sciences programmes at a ceremony being held at the University’s Sport Central Arena. The recipients of honorary degrees are nominated by the University’s staff for their achievements, their links to the University, and their inspirational qualities.
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