I have been a qualified social worker since graduating with an Masters in Social Work in 1987. My PhD explored the role and experiences of approved mental health practitioners. I am registered with the Health Care Professions Council and was elected to sit on the Mental Health Faculty of the College of Social Work which is now the Advisory Group for the Chief Social Worker, Adults. I sit on the Advisory Board for the British Library Social Welfare portal and am appointed as a specialist committee member for the NICE Quality Advisory Committee Guidleine on transition for Mental Health Hospital to Community, for which I was social care topic advisor.
I was for a number of years an Area Commissioner for the Mental Health Act Commission . Currently I lead the social work degree for The Open University in the North West of England and in Yorkshire and was, until recently the social work lead for the Student Support Team and Co-qualifications lead, social work. I have worked extensively in Adult Social Services, primarily within mental health, practising as a frontline social worker, an Approved Social Worker under the Mental Health Act 1983, a development and training officer and for six years a senior manager in an inner city multi disciplinary emergency mental health setting.
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My doctoral study with the University of Manchester explored the role and experiences of the Approved Mental Health Professionals; a designation laid down under Section 13 (1A) and (2) of the Mental Health Act 1983, England and Wales, as amended by Mental Health Act 2007, England and Wales. This research explored the role and experiences of a reconfigured statutory designation from the viewpoint of those undertaking it and in the context of two major policy changes which the designation encapsulates; the first is the reform of mental health legislation in England and Wales, the second is the introduction of‘new ways of working in mental health. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, this research explored the impact on the role and the experienceof thos who accomplish it. A visual research method, an adpatation of rich pictures was also used to collate data.
Other research interests lie in the history of social work. I coordinate the Social Work History Network http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/policy-institute/scwru/swhn/index.aspx and edit a biennial e-bulletin.I have undertaken reserach into the awareness and training of social workers and nurses in bruising as a sign of non-accidental injury in older people and also on the impact on mental health social workers of integration.
My teaching interests lie in mental health social work and social work law.
I have delivered lectures at a number of international conferences for the European Conference on Social Work Research and the International Association for Law and Mental Health.
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