Tag: Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research

#NPNR2015 news

I’m pleased to have had the chance to join the scientific and organising committee for the NPNR Conference, and to have taken part in a series of face-to-face and electronic discussions to plan this autumn’s event.

Nowadays the NPNR Conference is a collaboration between Mental Health Nurse Academics UK and the RCN. Early information about the 21st running of the event can be found here. For ease, here is an extract with an outline of this year’s themes and more:

21st International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research conference
“Building new relationships in mental health nursing: opportunities and challenges”

17 September 2015 – 18 September 2015 – Manchester Conference Centre, Sackville Street, Manchester M1 3BB

As the NPNR conference convenes for the 21st time developments in research, education and delivery of mental health nursing care continue apace. New knowledge opens the way for new forms of relationships with people who use services, their families and with colleagues within and outside our discipline. The way mental health nurses are educated and how they develop and research their practice is also changing, bringing with it new opportunities and many challenges.

This year’s conference will engage with the emerging evidence and changes in the landscape of care as we seek to craft new understandings of what it means to be a mental health nurse. As we become attuned to the vagaries of policy and the volume of new knowledge for our profession we must also rise to the challenge of ‘seeing’ in new ways. Our intention is to provide a space where colleagues can debate and critically engage with flux in the profession.

The NPNR is the place for mental health nurses and those we work with to present and learn new knowledge. We encourage you to submit your research and practice development initiatives and participate in discussion so that you leave the conference informed, enlightened and with new energy to engage with the challenges ahead. Alongside our expert speakers, great practice development and research papers the conference promotes a friendly and welcoming atmosphere that has been the hallmark of NPNR for 20 years. This year in addition to our exciting themes we include new developments for 2015.

Conference Highlights for 2015

• Two day conference for academics and practitioners working across mental health nursing
• Renowned keynote speakers
• Call for abstracts including options to present posters, concurrent, symposia and workshops
• Networking, collaborating and discussing the latest in mental health nursing research
• Conference reception and networking dinner
• Announcing the recipients of both the Eileen Skellern Lecture and the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing Lifetime Achievement Award 2016
• Special discounts for conference presenters; RCN members; students; carers and service users
• Enhance your continuing professional development
• Poster Trail
• Fringe events
• RCN exhibition

Call for Papers will be open from the beginning of March 2015

Concurrent themes:

• New Conversations, New Platforms, New Evidence
• Collaborations and Partnership in Research
• New Voices, New Researchers
• Innovation and Development in Practice and Education
• Changing Systems, Changing Relationships

Abstracts addressing the conference themes are invited for the following types of presentations:

1. concurrent sessions
2. poster presentations
3. symposia
4. workshops
5. fringe events

Key timings:

Thursday 17 September 2015
8.30am – 10am: Registration and Fringe Events
10.00am – 6pm: Conference

Friday 18 September 2015
9.00am – 9.45am: Registration
9.45am – 4.15pm: Conference

The hashtag for the conference will be #NPNR2015:

And, for those who also use LinkedIn, there is this group.

I’ll aim to post further updates on all this over the coming weeks and months.


December catch-up

Competing priorities have kept me away from this site in recent weeks. There’s been work to do on COCAPP, which is close to the finish line, and doctoral students’ drafts to read and comment on (before imminent thesis submission, in one case). I’ve also been reading a thesis ahead of a PhD examination I’m involved in at the end of the coming week. So if this catch-up post feels a little bitty, then that’s because it is: there’s been lots happening that I want to comment on.

First up is the RiSC study, which I’ve mentioned here plenty of times before. In the last ten or so days the NIHR has published a first look summary of our aims, methods and findings. This is a precursor to the publication of our whole report, which is now post-peer review. Sometime in the new year we’ll be reconvening as a research team to plan our next project.

In October I made the short trip to the University of South Wales to hear Professor Linda Aiken from the University of Pennsylvania deliver this year’s RCN Winifred Raphael Lecture. Professor Aiken spoke on Quality nursing care: what makes a difference?, drawing on findings from the RN4Cast study and more. As promised, the RCN Research Society has now uploaded its video of the event for the world to see. It’s well worth watching.

News on the Mental Health Nurse Academics UK front includes an election, which we are now midway through, for the group’s next Vice Chair and Chair Elect. I’m overseeing this process (as I’ve done twice before), and will be in a position to announce the successful nominee on December 15th. One of the things that MHNAUK does is to work with the RCN to run the annual NPNR conference, and I’m very pleased to have had the chance to join the NPNR scientific and organising committee for a three year stint. More to follow on that front in the future, including details of next year’s event as they emerge.

Elsewhere I read that the Shape of Caring review, chaired by Lord Willis, is looking at the UK practice of preparing new nurses, at the point of registration, for work in one of four fields (mental health, adult, child and learning disability). This is something to keep a close eye on, with reports from last month’s Chief Nursing Officer Summit in England suggesting that the fields may be on their way out. For a useful, balanced, review in this area I refer the reader to the 2008 King’s College London Policy+ paper Educating students for mental health nursing practice: has the UK got it right? and, for a longer read, to Approaches to specialist training at pre-registration level: an international comparison.

Research away day and MHNAUK meet-up

Lots of interesting things to report from a packed week. Monday took me to a meet-up with research-minded nurses from Cardiff and Vale UHB, the first of a series of events organised by Professor Lesley Lowes aimed at supporting research capacity and engagement amongst practitioners. Here’s the flyer:

Lesley's event

In her presentation, Bridie Evans made use of a segment from a NISCHR CRC video introducing the work of Involving People. This has been uploaded to the NISCHR CRC YouTube channel, where the part Bridie used begins at around the 1:53 mark:

Yesterday was the first Mental Health Nurse Academics UK meeting of the 2014-15 academic year. We convened in Manchester, with public involvement and engagement in mental health research and education the theme for the pre-business part of the day. Lauren Walker and Lindsey Cree led with an excellent presentation drawing on their service user and carer researcher experiences working on the Enhancing the Quality of User Involved Care Planning in Mental Health Services (EQUIP) study. Steven Pryjmachuk and I talked about our experiences of involving young people in research, drawing on Steven’s self-care project and our shared RiSC study. John Baker closed this part of the day with an impressive University of Manchester case study of how public and patient involvement in research and education can be embedded at institutional level.

Elsewhere in yesterday’s MHNAUK meeting there was a lively discussion around the promotion of physical health and well-being in people using mental health services, and a review of this year’s NPNR conference. Plans are also being laid for next year’s event, with opportunities about to be notified for people interested in becoming more involved via membership of the conference organising committee.

NPNR 2014 reflections

For those not at the 20th International Network for Psychiatric Research Conference, which took place yesterday and the day before at Warwick University, here are links to the conference brochure and the book of abstracts. Following this link takes you to Laura Benfield’s aggregation of #NPNR2014-tagged tweets. Laura, I hear, is moving on from the RCN Events team: many thanks to her for all the behind-the-scenes work at this, and previous, conferences.

This was another high-quality NPNR gathering. Brendan McCormack gave an impassioned keynote on person-centred care, emphasising the absolute importance of values and culture, and Julie Repper spoke eloquently on co-production and the vital work that mental health nurses can do to promote this. Debbie Hicks talked of the work of The Reading Agency in using books to promote mental health and wellbeing. In his Friday morning keynote Swaran Singh gave a presentation which had, at its heart, the idea that higher recorded rates of mental illness in migrant groups are better explained by experiences of social adversity than they are by institutionalised racism. Kevin Ann Huckshorn delivered a final keynote centring on leadership and the implementation of recovery and coercion-reducing approaches.

I also sat in on, and chaired, some excellent concurrent sessions. From speaking with fellow delegates I know that I missed plenty of others of equal quality. From Fiona Nolan and colleagues I learned of the latest in the development and evaluation of protected engagement time initiatives, and from Hilary Ford of the use of a lifecourse approach in pre-registration mental health nurse education. I always appreciate what Mick McKeown has to say, and this year heard Fiona Jones and him talking about the opportunities (and challenges) of introducing recovery ideas in a secure hospital. I heard Brenda Happell deliver two papers: on the relationships between clinical experiences in mental health settings and nursing students’ attitudes to mental health as a field of practice, and on the introduction and evaluation of a service user-led module. Iain Hepworth and Peter Martin both gave talks touching on the work of liaison mental health nurses, and Alan Finnegan presented findings from a grounded theory study of military mental health nurses. Hilary Wareing shared experiences in introducing smoke-free mental health services, Hannah Walsh and colleagues talked of education and training for clinical support workers, and last (but certainly not least) Len Bowers shared his thoughts on (and experiences of) online suicide prevention education for mental health nurses.

I was also mightily pleased to have had the chance to be involved in four papers, each arising from funded research ongoing or recently completed and drawing on the talents and experiences of the fine people variously associated with COCAPP, Plan4Recovery and RiSC. We were there in force in Warwick: Alan Simpson, Michael Coffey, Sally Barlow, Jitka Všetečková, Bethan Edwards, Alan Meudell, Julian Hunt, Nicola Evans and Steven Pryjmachuk. Many thanks to those who came along to listen to, and discuss, our project experiences and our findings.

The NPNR conference is also the place where the following year’s JPMHN Lifetime Achievement Award winner and Skellern lecturer are announced. Very big congratulations to Ian Norman (who, as it happens, was one of my PhD examiners) and to Marion Janner, both of whom will be delivering their addresses at Nottingham University on June 11th 2015.

It’s worth mentioning, too, that the annual NPNR conference has a deserved reputation for informal collegiality and friendliness, and this year was no exception. I enjoyed meeting up with friends old and new.

Looking ahead, I see that an early call for suggested themes for NPNR 2015 has already gone out:

I, for one, plan to be there.

NPNR 2014

I’m off to Warwick University tomorrow, leaving on a too-early train, for this year’s International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research Conference. This is the NPNR’s 20th edition, and here (lifted shamelessly from the event website, accessible by following the link directly above) is a taster of what’s on offer:

Themes for 2014

Contemporary practice in mental health nursing research

Involving people – where has it got us?

Reflections and reminders

Building new knowledge for effective partnerships

Methodologies, methods and magic

Innovation in teaching, learning and practice

Keynote speakers

Thursday 18 September

Person-Centre Care: Collaborative practice and research

Professor Brendan McCormack, Head of Nursing at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Co-production and the future role of Mental Health Nursing  

Dr  Julie Repper, Recovery LeadNottingham Healthcare Trust, Nottingham, UK

Mental health and Wellbeing: Books on Prescription

Debbie Hicks, Director of Research, The Reading Agency

Friday 19 September

Understanding Pathways to Care in Early  Psychosis                         

Professor Swaran P Singh, Head of Division, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

The Role of Leaders in Designing Recovery Oriented Systems of Care: Upsetting the Historical Applecart

Dr Kevin Ann Huckshorn, State Division, Director for the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Delaware, USA

I’ll aim to tweet from Warwick whilst I’m there. To join in the conference-wide discussion, here’s some info from the @MHNAUK Twitter feed:

Summer research catch-up

Some time away and pressure of work explain the absence of recent posts on this site. So here’s a catch-up. In COCAPP, data generation and analysis are pressing ahead, whilst COCAPP-A (which is asking questions about care planning in acute mental health hospitals) has officially commenced. Plan4Recovery (which is concerned with shared decision-making and social connections for people using mental health services) is generating data. The draft final report from the RiSC study has now been peer reviewed and is back with us, the research team, for revisions. Methods and findings from this project (an evidence synthesis in the area of risk for young people moving into, through and out of inpatient mental health hospital) were also presented last month at the CAMHS conference at the University of Northampton. Many thanks to Steven Pryjmachuk for doing this.

Further conference presentations, from all but COCAPP-A, will also be delivered at this year’s NPNR conference. And, for the first time, I’m off to an event organised by Horatio: European Psychiatric Nurses. Horatio is a member of ESNO: European Specialist Nurses Organisations, and the event I’m speaking at in November is the 3rd European Festival of Psychiatric Nursing. One of the papers I’m delivering is titled, ‘Mental health nursing, complexity and change’. Here’s my abstract:

In this presentation I principally draw on two studies conducted in the UK to share some cumulative insights into the interconnected worlds of mental health policy, services, work (including that of nurses) and the experiences of users. I first set the scene with a brief review of the historic system-wide shift away from hospitals in favour of care being increasingly provided to people in their own homes. I emphasise the importance of this development for the mental health professions, and show how community care opened up new jurisdictional opportunities for nurses, social workers and others. I then draw on data from a project using a comparative case study design and ethnographic methods to show how the everyday work of mental health nurses (and others) is shaped both by larger jurisdictional claims and the contextual peculiarities of the workplace. From this same project I also show how the detailed, prospective, study of unfolding service user trajectories can lay bare true divisions of labour, including the contributions made by people other than mental health professionals (including support staff without professional accreditation, community pharmacists and lay carers) and by users themselves. I then introduce the second study, an investigation into crisis resolution and home treatment (CRHT) services, with an opening account of the unprecedented policymaking interest shown in the mental health system from the end of the 1990s. CRHT services appeared in this context, alongside other new types of community team, and I draw on detailed ethnographic case study data to examine crisis work, the wider system impact of setting up new CRHT services and the experiences of users. I close the presentation overall with some reflections on the cumulative lessons learned from these linked studies, and with some speculative ideas (on which I invite discussion) on the continued reshaping of the mental health system at a time of economic constraint, health policy contestation and political devolution.

I’ve given myself something of a challenge in attempting all this in a single concurrent session, but I’ll do my best and can signpost interested participants to papers I have published in these areas. One of my reasons for heading off to the Horatio event (in Malta, as it happens) is to make connections with international colleagues, with whom I might usefully share my projects, interests and ideas and perhaps find common ground.

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.


Mid-May catch-up post

RiSC front pageWork on the RiSC and COCAPP studies means that, of necessity, I’ve had to let this blog site (and pretty much everything else) take something of a back seat in recent weeks. The picture on the left is a screen shot of the RiSC study final report, which is now perilously close to completion. Once submitted to the funding body (the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme) it will be peer reviewed, and once accepted for the NIHR Journals Library progress through an editorial process before (hopefully sometime before the end of this year) appearing online.

Elsewhere, I see that the call for abstracts for this year’s NPNR conference remains open for a little while yet, as this tweet from Laura Benfield who works for the RCN Events team indicates:

I’m pleased to say that both the RiSC and COCAPP teams have already submitted abstracts. The conference will again be at Warwick University, and promises to a special affair. Here’s a snip from the event’s website:

This year is the 20th international NPNR conference and it’s going to be a celebration.

We wish to celebrate and promote some of the outstanding mental health nursing research that shapes mental health policy and nursing practice across the world. We will also acknowledge some of the best psychiatric and mental health nursing research that helped create the strong foundation for our work today. And we will invite delegates to look ahead to map out the future for mental health nursing research, education and practice.

Whilst my head has been somewhere else I see that the Department of Health has now published Positive and Proactive Care: reducing the need for restrictive interventions (something which members of Mental Health Nurse Academics contributed to) and that, yesterday, it was announced that NICE is about to step into the debate on nursing numbers. Here’s how The Guardian reported this:

Nurses in hospitals should not have to look after more than eight patients each at any one time, the body that sets NHS standards will urge next week in a move that will add to pressure to end what critics claim is dangerous understaffing.

Responding to concerns about standards of patient care in the aftermath of the Mid Staffs scandal, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) will warn that registered nurses’ workloads should not exceed that number because patients’ safety could be put at risk.

The regulator’s intervention will intensify the pressure on hospitals, growing numbers of which are in financial difficulty, to hire more staff to tackle shortages even though many have little spare money. Campaigners on the subject believe at least 20,000 extra nurses are urgently needed at a cost of about £700m.

This looks to be a very important intervention indeed, with all sorts of potential implications. It will be interesting to see how policymakers respond. I also wonder how this debate will play out in the context of community health care, and whether we might expect some kind of consideration of caseload sizes. This is a fiendishly difficult area, and is far more complex than simply saying that (for example) ‘each community mental health nurse should have a caseload of no more than x‘.

I also see that Community Care has been continuing to highlight the extraordinary pressures facing people working in, and using, the mental health system. Austerity is very harmful, and Community Care is drawing necessary attention to the problems of lack of beds, funding cuts and retractions in community services.

Before I get my head back down into report-writing here’s a final plug, this time to a piece Michael Coffey has written over on the MHNAUK blog:

As we roll up to the end of April and summer is just around the corner the planning of our next meeting is starting to fall into some sort of shape. MHNAUK meetings usually take the form of morning presentations and afternoon group business items. After a meeting devoted to group strategy and plans in Cardiff in the Spring of 2013 we have attempted to get work done in our meetings and be much more strategic in terms of themes for presentations and outputs arising from these. This has meant that in the past year we have focused on dementia care and produced a position paper from this and in subsequent meetings we have discussed restrictive practices and physical health care in mental health which will result in further position papers.
For our coming meeting this June we are currently discussing ideas around the history of mental health nursing as one possible theme alongside plans to further our relationships with the mental health nurse consultants group. In addition we will revisit our plans for future themes so that we keep the focus firmly on supporting education and research in our field. Agendas are never truly fully complete and over the next few weeks new items will arise and suggestions will arrive that members feel we must discuss. This is as it should be and I welcome this as evidence of the vitality of the wider group, anyone fancy discussing yet another review of nurse education for instance?

Michael Coffey
Chair of MHNAUK

#NPNR2014 call for abstracts

Not much time for blog-writing lately, for various reasons, but this morning I want to point readers to the full details and call for abstracts for this September’s International NPNR Conference. The event website can be found by following this link, from where I have lifted this:


20th International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research conference

  • 18 September 2014 – 19 September 2014
  • The University of Warwick, Coventry, UK CV4 7AL

Event home

This year is the 20th international NPNR conference and it’s going to be a celebration.

We wish to celebrate and promote some of the outstanding mental health nursing research that shapes mental health policy and nursing practice across the world. We will also acknowledge some of the best psychiatric and mental health nursing research that helped create the strong foundation for our work today. And we will invite delegates to look ahead to map out the future for mental health nursing research, education and practice.

**The NPNR steering committee are proud to announce the call for abstract submissions is now open until 30 April 2014**

Conference themes


Programme themes for 2014

Contemporary practice in mental health nursing research

Involving people – where has it got us?

Reflections and reminders

Building new knowledge for effective partnerships

Methodologies, methods and magic

Innovation in teaching, learning and practice

Call for abstracts

Check out the abstract section for full details and to submit an abstract.

Keynote speakers

Understanding Pathways in Mental Health Care | Professor Swaran P Singh, Head of Division, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

Mental health and Wellbeing: Books on Prescription | Debbie Hicks, Director of Research, The Reading Agency

Co-production and the future role of Mental Health Nursing | Dr Julie Repper, Recovery LeadNottingham Healthcare Trust, Nottingham, UK

Managing and delivering evidence-based mental health and substance use services | Dr Kevin Ann Huckshorn, State Division Director for the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Delaware, USA

Quotes from NPNR 2013

” NPNR – Power to the people conference” A service user

“Good key speakers, relevant content and engaging presentations. Excellent concurrent sessions” A delegate

“I’ve found the conference extremely inspiring. This was my very first conference; I enjoyed presenting my research and valued the feedback given. It’s great to see frontline staff carrying out research and being supported by their organisations in doing so. I would like to do further research myself. The keynote lectures were great especially ‘spirit level.” New Researcher

Piece in the Guardian by Helene Mulholland (4 September 2013)

“Charles Walker MP: ‘Mental illness is not a weakness'”


Join the pre conference discussions on www.twitter.com now…

Professor Alan Simpson, chair of NPNR steering committee

Dr Michael Coffey, chair of MHNAUK and chair of NPNR scientific committee

Event contact

Laura Benfield
Conference Organiser
Royal College of Nursing
20 Cavendish Square

Tel: 020 7647 3591
Email: npnr@rcn.org.uk

20th International NPNR Conference: call for abstracts

Early news of this year’s International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research conference, and a call for abstracts, have just appeared. The event takes place at Warwick University on September 18th and 19th, and more information can be found by following this link. With support once again from both the Royal College of Nursing and Mental Health Nurse Academics UK this promises to be a special occasion, this being the 20th running of this esteemed event.