MHNAUK members met online for a third and final whole-group meeting of 2020 on October 16th. Guest speaker was Dr Jo Cooper, who was welcomed as newly appointed Head of Nursing Research: Research Transformation with NHS England and NHS Improvement. MHNAUK members are keen to work with Jo and her colleagues to develop mental health nursing research capacity and capability, and to promote clinical academic careers.
Elsewhere in the meeting, Anne Armstrong (Nurse Advisor for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, Scottish Government), Hazel Powell (Nursing Officer for Mental Health and Learning Disability, Welsh Government) and Emma Wadey (Head of Mental Health Nursing, NHS England) gave updates on current priorities and work across their three nations, including in relation to the mental health nursing contribution during the COVID crisis. Dave Munday shared the work he and colleagues have been doing through Unite/Mental Health Nurses Association, including #mhTV with Vanessa Gilmartin and Nicky Lambert.
During updates on work from MHNAUK’s 3 Standing Groups, Neil Brimblecombe introduced his planned survey of MHNAUK members’ experiences of the pandemic, Jim Turner brought colleagues up to date on the development of the HEE All England Plan for Mental Health Nursing and Greg Rooney noted the NMC’s ongoing work reviewing post-registration practice standards. During the latter part of the meeting members met separately in these Standing Groups, reviewing lines of work and priorities for the future.
MHNAUK next meets, again in virtual form, on Friday March 12th 2021 with Professor Fiona Nolan as Chair. A Vice Chair to work with and to support Fiona will be identified from within the group between November and December 2020. Sincere thanks were expressed to Ben Hannigan for his hard work and commitment as Chair for the past 2 years, during which he built on the achievements of his predecessors in raising the profile of mental health nursing and increasing the presence of MHNAUK in key policy developments and consultations.