A digital place for people who access services, carers, staff and partner agencies, to share ideas around care co-ordination & care planning in mental health

For anyone thinking of applying to do their degree in Mental Health Nursing…..


One of the things that potential mental health nursing candidates are required to know is what a mental health nurse does; what is their role? As a degree entry profession since 2011 nursing candidates apply for their courses through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. Candidates need to provide their demographic details, their qualifications, a reference and a personal statement. For many pre- registration mental health nursing courses the personal statement is the deal breaker; the quality of the personal statement is the difference between rejecting the candidate and inviting them to come along for an interview.

Admissions tutors typically look for a number for a number of things within the application and statement: does the candidate meet (or is predicted to meet) the entry requirements? Does the reference support the application – I have yet to see a reference that doesn’t; are there transferable skills evident; are their personal values…

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Oh my word by anyone’s standards 2016 has been difficult for me in so many ways with family illness then subsequent bereavement with one of those family members, our ongoing infertility issues, a cancer scare and a change of job with pressures which have left me questioning my own capabilities daily. I feel like I have spent months walking a tight rope with my own mental well being. I have written recently about how I have felt here

I’m a mental health nurse, not a circus acrobat, so walking an emotional tight rope has felt dangerous. I have stumbled and nearly fallen on so many occasions, arms outstretched with a wobble and a dance the one we all do until just at the last moment we correct out footing and just about manage to prevent the fall. My colleagues and I are all mental health professionals; nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and…

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Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited to the COCAPP Knowledge Transfer event held at City University London on 21st July 2016. You can read more about this here.

It was great to meet people face to face, beyond Twitter – particularly Alan Simpson (PI) Ben Hannigan, and Michael Coffey who are leading this important NIHR funded research, #COCAPPimpact.

Whats really good about this piece of research is that it is within my area of interest and that the method used aimed to address care planning on 3 levels – macro (national), meso (organisation) and micro (care delivery, face to face). To achieve this they used a mixed methods approach . The fabulousness of this is that it answered the research question on the 3 levels, perhaps anticipating that tackling one level in isolation would give rise to questions in the other levels. Adding to the credibility is…

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What are we trying to do?

Outputs from this third blog will contribute to a report to be produced by the Foundation of Nursing Studies (www.fons.org) at the end of 2016 on the present and future work of mental health nurses. As a graduate profession, mental health nurses must now be confident enough to offer a constructive debate about their work rather than playing a limited part in policy development and service re-design. We hope the approach used in Playing our part will allow us to think differently by asking purposeful questions and sometimes we will allow ourselves to think disruptively! We want to put mental health nurses in a place where they can proactively contribute to service delivery. This third blog is to stimulate early discussion towards developing a contemporary view of the work of mental health nurses in tertiary care. We wish to explore existing and…

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  • Questions and themes

  • Is in-patient care therapeutic setting?
  • How do we tackle continuity of care?
  • Safe staffing as a key requirement
  • The nature of ‘recovery’ as a descriptor of service provision/experience
  • Emerging discussions that followed

  • Service design obliges patients to be in and out as fast as possible
  • Staffing levels make an obvious and critical difference
  • ‘Recovery’ is an unhelpful descriptor but no agreement on what else to call it
  •  Access to education and knowledge is empowering
  • Acute in-patient care requires the right staff, it has to do with leading meaningful lives,
  • A ‘healthy’ environment and quiet areas for residents are critical for therapeutic in-patient care
  • From a patients point of view the ‘boundaries of primary, secondary and tertiary care are blurred.
  • Continuity of care is a useful concept to guide the work of mental health nurses and service design.

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Reimagining Professionalism in mental health: towards co-production

Co-production involves a redistribution of power. In the first instance, this requires respect for people’s choices and preferences about their care.  For this reason, policy initiatives such as the introduction of personal budgets and the personalisation agenda constitute progress – they help to re-instate marginalised people as self-determining citizens. Choice is a cornerstone of co-production, but, equally, it should be about much more than this. People sometimes wonder how personalisation differs from co-production. My response is that co-production supports people’s choices but recognises that they do not make choices in circumstances of their own choosing. Many people in mental distress are caught up in complex and oppressive entanglement of powers which severely constrain choices.

What about a person who can’t face getting out of bed because of the emotional, mental, social and material challenges which they face? ‘Fine’, some would say, ‘that’s their choice’. After all, it’s a key liberal…

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Blogs on Nursing

Once a bit of time had passed after my mum died in February (a terrible end of life experience for her and the family, some of it blogged here), I asked for her notes. I wanted to see how she had been cared for in a professional sense. I wanted to see the decision making, the prescribing, the carrying out of care. I wanted to know who had cared for her, who had assessed her need for nursing, who had signed off nursing interventions, who had recorded her care.

I filled in the form, paid my £10 and duly received a 3 inch pile of paper. 0.1 inch of the papers were the medical notes. Handwritten but largely legible, dated and signed, succinct, little diagrams where necessary. Referrals noted with date and time, and followed up with results. OT visits and assessments were written in the medical notes.  Physio…

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Open Minded Online

sharing ideas and resources about holistic approaches to emotional and social wellbeing

Dr Sally Pezaro

This is the research blog of Dr Sally Pezaro. Sally is 'The Academic Midwife' working to secure excellence in teaching and maternity services. Specialist interests include maternity services, workforce and midwifery research.

The Mental Nurse

The inane ramblings of a mental health nursing student in the UK.

Academic Irregularities

Critical university studies, discourse and managerialism


Sharing all things mental health nursing, service user and carer involvement, care planning, Care Programme Approach, recovery and wellbeing

The Academic Triangle

Teaching, Research and Admin


The evolving tale of my PhD as it happens

Blogs on Nursing

On Nursing, Nursing politics, leadership, anything.

gate: The General Assessment Tool

The General Assessment Tool

Graeme Cumming

Author, Speaker, Blogger

Patient Leader

My continuing journey as a Patient Leader

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A venn diagram of policing, mental health and criminal justice

Critical Mental Health Nurses' Network

Working Together to Reclaim Mental Health Nursing

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A blog for carers of mental health

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