I qualified at the University of Edinburgh in 1986. Initially I trained in General Practice in the Northeast and Manchester, but enjoyed the mental health aspects of the work in particular and went on to train in psychiatry in Edinburgh and Newcastle, gaining my MRCPsych in 1994, MPhil in 1998, and my consultant post in 2006.
I currently work in Northumberland West, based in Hexham but covering a large rural community. Initially my role included working into the crisis team for this area, as well as working with the Northumberland West Psychosis and Non Psychosis team. The former role ended earlier this year due to structural changes in service delivery.
I see patients for assessment and longer term work, both individually and as part of the team, and liaise with other professionals, particularly GPs with whom we have good links locally. While having expertise in formulation, diagnosis and medication, I also have a holistic approach and have attended training to develop my psychological skills in addition. Courses attended include dialectical behavioural skills training, a one day mentalization based therapy introduction by Anthony Bateman, introduction to transactional analysis, foundation level training in systemic and family therapy, level A interpersonal therapy training, as well as regular updates on medication and prescribing, understanding of autism spectrum disorders, keeping up to date with all statutory and mandatory training, attending the RCPsych congress and adult faculty meetings.
I am involved in service development locally and have also been involved at a county/trust level in the past including for CRHT, physical health and Personality Disorder services. I have participated actively in the trust transformation programme and pathway development and try to remain flexible in my style of working while ensuring good patient care despite the financial constraints and changes in working practice which are inevitable in the health service.
I am involved in training. I am trainer for junior doctors including being the clinical supervisor for an F2 post and a GP training post and an educational supervisor for a core trainee. I also supervise a Non- Medical Prescribing pharmacist and am working with him and the team to develop this role. I enjoy teaching medical students, both on placement at our base and, when able, more formal teaching at the university of Newcastle.