MHNAUK members met in Bristol on Friday March 6th 2020, hosted by Rachel Hadland and mental health nursing colleagues from the University of the West of England. In their opening presentation, Rachel and UWE colleague Lucy Watkins played this well-received introductory video:
Guest speaker was Simon Bristow, Mental Health System Improvement Advisor with NHS Improvement, who spoke (and engaged in a lively debate) about the collection and use of data in mental health services.
Nicky Lambert reminded MHNAUK members that 2020 is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, and of the importance of making sure that mental health nurses are well-represented in the year’s programme of activities. Nicky also reminded colleagues of plans for the International Mental Health Nursing Research Conference (#MHNR2020), initially scheduled for Thursday June 11th 2020 with abstracts welcome until Friday March 27th. In the fast-moving context of the global coronavirus pandemic arrangements for the conference are now under active review: more information will follow in due course.
Fiona Nolan updated members on work to identify research priorities for mental health nursing, which to date has involved the gathering and theming of topics identified by MHNAUK members.
Members shared updates on advanced clinical practice, the Research Excellence Framework, Skills for Health/Health Education England work on the development of a competence and career framework for mental health nurses, the Council of Deans of Health’s recent report on the health academic workforce and more.
With each of MHNAUK’s Standing Groups now having a newly elected Lead (Greg Rooney for Education, Prof Neil Brimblecombe for Research and Dr Jim Turner for Policy and Practice), members spent the final part of the meeting discussing priorities for Standing Group members to work on together.
In the little more than a week which has passed since this meeting took place events have moved quickly. Scheduled future meetings of Mental Health Nurse Academics UK are likely to be disrupted by the spread of COVID-19, with members, their students and colleagues working in mental health services turning attention to more immediately pressing matters. Mental health nurses are as important as ever during the current coronavirus outbreak, and need to be supported. Stay safe.