Tag: RiSC

Nominal group technique

Time this morning for a quick post drawing attention to this new paper published in Research Involvement and Engagement reporting on our use of the nominal group technique in the now-completed RiSC study.

In this project we were interested in risk, broadly defined, for young people in inpatient mental health settings. We used a two-stage evidence synthesis, convening a stakeholder group midway through to guide us in our focus. This new article gives the detail on the process we used when the group met.

As it happens, the stakeholder meeting was a pivotal event in the life of this study, during which we were directed to find evidence on a whole range of risks which are very rarely considered in mental health services. Examples include the risks of losing contact with education, family and friends. The next step in this programme of research is a KESS2 PhD studentship which will bring to the surface all the things that child and adolescent mental health practitioners do to help young people in hospital to keep in touch. In the meantime, anyone wanting to know more about the RiSC study (should their appetite have been whetted following a read of this new article) might want to follow this link for our main findings paper and this link for our accessible summary.

PhD opportunity

KESS2With Nicola Evans and Rebecca Playle I’m on the look-out for someone to begin a full-time PhD in the autumn, investigating the interventions and processes that promote young people’s connection to their education, friends and families during inpatient mental health care. This is a Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS2), which is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) West Wales and the Valleys programme. It has also been developed in collaboration with Cwm Taf University Health Board which is making a contribution to the award.

For those interested, the studentship has been explicitly designed to build on our RiSC evidence synthesis, about which I have previously written here, here and here. We found significant knowledge gaps in this previous project, which we’re now anticipating this PhD will begin to fill.

#NPNR2016 review 

I’m back from my annual trip to the International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research conference, held this year in Nottingham and once again presented as a collaboration between MHNAUK and the RCN

This, the 22nd NPNR gathering, is the second for which I have served as a member of the conference organising and scientific committee. Our theme – trailed well in advance via our dedicated conference twitter account – was mental health across the lifecourse. We had some super keynote speakers: Elaine Hanzak, who spoke with openness about her recovery from postnatal mental illness; Luciana Berger MP, former Shadow Minister for Mental Health and President of the Labour Campaign for Mental Health, who demonstrated knowledge of, and commitment to, the field; John Keady, who spoke with passion about creative, biographical, approaches to researching the needs and experiences of people with dementia, including in his ongoing Neighbourhoods and Dementia programme; Steven Pryjmachuk, who made the case for nursing leadership in children and young people’s mental health research, and along the way gave a mention to the RiSC study; and Bryn Lloyd-Evans, who summarised the state of play in crisis resolution research, drawing (amongst other things) on the CORE programme. Our plenary sessions were expertly chaired by Wendy Cross and Geoff Dickens, and – as a first – this year’s event also included a partnership with André Tomlin from the Mental Elf Service and Mark Brown and Vanessa Garrity from the WeMHNurses community. This meant we had lots of social media and online discussion throughout the conference, recording of plenary sessions and a live-streamed pre-event round table evening discussion chaired by Alan Simpson. Here is a link to the recording, for those who missed it as it happened:

Once I have a link to the recordings of #NPNR2016’s keynote talks I’ll update this post with these, too. 

A note, too, on the conference’s workshops and concurrent sessions. I enjoyed participating in André Tomlin’s critical appraisal workshop, and with Elaine Hanzak writing a contribution during this to the blog post published on The Mental Elf website here. I also enjoyed our follow-up discussion on using social media, convened by André and Vanessa Garrity. I heard Nicky Lambert give two presentations (no less), and listened to talks from Karen Wright, Paula Libberton, Andrew Grundy and Ashlee Charles. There’s some great work going on out there, let it be said. That includes in COCAPP-A, Plan4Recovery and RiSC, all of which were presented in Nottingham.

As soon as we’re able, the conference organising committee will announce details of both dates and venue for #NPNR2017. Watch this space for an update. 

Understanding mental health systems and services — Mental Health / Iechyd Meddwl

Here’s a link to my first post for a new Cardiff University Mental Health Blog. The content will be broadly familar to people who have dipped into my personal blog in the past, insofar as I have chosen to say something general about doing mental health services research.

Working in collaboration with colleagues across the UK, including with people who have directly used services, researchers in the School of Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff University study mental health systems.

via Understanding mental health systems and services — Mental Health / Iechyd Meddwl

Clicking the hyperlink above, which appears beneath the brief snippet of text, will take you to the full piece. There are already some interesting other posts on the site, too, including a piece by Mike Owen written as an opener.

Cumulative insights

Not for the first time, I’ve attempted to produce some cumulative insights from the past and present mental health research studies I’ve had the opportunity to work on. These include my PhD investigation into work and roles in community mental health care, my post-doctoral study of crisis services, and more recent projects which Alan Simpson, Michael Coffey or I have led on.

The prompt, on this occasion, has been the chance to give a presentation at a School of Healthcare Sciences research seminar taking place this afternoon. For anyone interested, here is the PowerPoint I used. I opened with some general comments on the need for mental health research, and on the funding landscape. I then had some things to say about theory, design and methods. Many of the individual slides have hyperlinks to green open access publications:

Fees, theses and project updates

Last week brought the news that, in England, people beginning nursing degrees from the 2017-18 academic year will need to take out student loans to cover the cost of their tuition fees. The cap on student numbers will also be removed. The Council of Deans of Health broadly supports this move, having previously argued for change. One of the things it points out is that current funding for students (via the agreement of the benchmark price) does not cover the real costs of educating new nurses. The Royal College of Nursing, on the other hand, is concerned that last week’s announcement prepares to break the connection between the NHS and financial support for student nurses, and simultaneously risks making nursing a less attractive career option. This concern particularly relates to mature students and those contemplating a second degree, for some of whom the prospect of additional debt may be exceptionally unappealing. As a nurse academic in Wales I wait with interest to see what policy on fees will emerge from the Welsh Government.

In other news, I find myself engaged in a prolonged period of doctoral student activity. I’ve examined a number of theses in and out of Cardiff in recent months, and have sat with students during their vivas as either supervisor or independent chair. This term has been particularly packed. Plenty of writing has also been taking place: papers and reports are being written from COCAPP, RiSC and Plan4Recovery, and from completed theses I have helped to supervise. Data generation in COCAPP-A has almost concluded, and new research ideas are taking shape. Exciting times, if a little frenetic. 

Risk for children and young people in mental health hospital

Over the last year or two I’ve used this blog to publicise information about the RiSC study, an evidence synthesis into ‘risk’ for young people in mental health hospital. We’ve now produced an accessible summary, outlining what we did in this project and what we found. For a copy, click the front cover of the summary reproduced below:

Risk in inpatient child and adolescent mental health services

This week our full report from the RiSC study, An evidence synthesis of risk identification, assessment and management for young people using tier 4 inpatient child and adolescent mental health services, has been published in Health Services and Delivery Research. This is in gold open access form, and is free to download and read.

Here’s our plain English summary:

In our two-part study we brought together evidence in the area of risk for young people admitted to mental health hospital. First, we searched two electronic databases, finding 124 articles. Most were concerned with clinical risks, such as the risks of suicide. Using diagrams we grouped these articles together under a number of themes.

Young people who had been inpatients in mental health hospital, carers, managers and professionals helped us prioritise the types of risk we should concentrate on in the second part of our study. Our top two priorities were the risks of dislocation and contagion. We used the word ‘dislocation’ to refer to the risks of being removed from normal life, of experiencing challenges to identity and of being stigmatised. We used it to refer to the risks to friendships and families, and to education. We used ‘contagion’ to refer to the risks of learning unhelpful behaviour and making unhelpful friendships.

We searched 17 databases and a large number of websites for evidence in these areas. We asked hospital staff to send us information on how they managed these risks and we searched journals and reference lists. We identified 40 items to include in our review and 20 policy and guidance documents. The quality of the studies varied. We grouped the evidence together under seven categories.

We found little evidence to guide practice. The risks of dislocation and contagion are important, but research is needed to inform how staff might identify, assess and manage them.

This has been an excellent project to work on: a great team, and some good engagement with young people and others with a shared interest in what we’ve been up to. Next up is an accessible summary, and some writing of articles. More to follow!

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.

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.