2014 Skellern Lecture, JMPHN Lifetime Achievement Award and MHNAUK meet-up

Last week brought a trip to London for a series of events: a COCAPP update on framework analysis; a COCAPP project advisory group meeting; the 2014 Skellern Lecture and the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing Lifetime Achievement Award; and this term’s meeting of Mental Health Nurse Academics UK.

Gary Winship, who does an excellent job organising the Skellern and JPMHN events, wrote this piece on the MHNAUK blog ahead of the lectures taking place at the Institute of Psychiatry. He wrote how Professor Joy Duxbury in her Skellern Lecture:

…will endeavour to balance the evident need for improved compassionate based care against a backdrop of risk aversion [and will place] a particular focus on coercive practices, more specifically restraint in mental health settings.

And that was exactly what Joy did on the night. She lined up, and tackled, the reasons mental health nurses give for using physical restraint and using video evidence drew her audience’s attention to what can go wrong. This includes patient deaths, something which the national charity Mind has been campaigning about since last year (see this post from June 2013) and which has helped drive the Department of Health’s guidance on positive and proactive care.

Professor Hugh McKenna took a break from his REF duties as Chair of the Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy sub-panel to receive this year’s JPMHN Lifetime Achievement Award. Here’s Gary Winship’s preamble from the MHNAUK site:

Professor McKenna has a long and illustrious career. He was appointed an International Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2013 which is an accolade accorded to very few people outside the USA. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (1999), Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing (2003) and Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science (2003). In 2008, Professor McKenna received a CBE for contributions to health care and the community, and in the same year he was appointed to Chair the Nursing Panel in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

Hugh delivered a personable, good-humoured, lecture which also contained some important messages for nurses aiming to build programmes of research. These included the importance of working collaboratively and across disciplinary boundaries, aiming high, and getting funding. These are all things which Hugh has excelled at in his own career, though he was far too modest to draw explicit attention to this himself. Many congratulations both to him and to Joy: two recipients very worthy of their awards.

Following events on June 11th, the 12th brought the final meet-up in the current academic year of Mental Health Nurse Academics UK, convened on this occasion at London South Bank University. The morning was devoted to these presentations:

Colin Gale, Archivist, Bethlem Museum of the Mind
As if to, drive me mad: an Edwardian’s experience of sedatives and the asylum

Tony Leiba, Emeritus Professor, LSBU
Lessons of social inclusion through policy

Tommy Dickinson, Lecturer, Manchester University
‘Curing Queers’: giving a voice to former patients who received treatments for their ‘sexual deviations’, 1935-1974

The afternoon saw MHNAUK members get down to business. This included a discussion, led by Andy Mercer, on how best to influence the latest round of nursing reviews including the Shape of Caring and The Lancet Commission on UK Nursing. Elsewhere on the agenda were updates on this year’s Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research conference, MHNAUK’s in-progress position paper on physical health and well-being (led by Patricia Ryan-Allen and Jacquie White) and possible journal affiliations.



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