I completed my undergraduate medial education in Newcastle, taking a year out to complete a research study looking at the role of interleukins in depression. I then spent three years working in Newcastle before taking up a post with VSO in Papua New Guinea. This role in additional to having a clinical element to it involved supporting a WHO educational initiative. I then returned to the North East, completing specialty training in Psychiatry.
My first consultant post was in 2003 working in the West End of Newcastle, initially in a sector role providing inpatient and community services before spending ten years working as a community psychiatrist in the West of Newcastle.
I now work in Newcastle adult mental health services, specialising in the area of psychosis. I am lucky to work into two great teams, the Recovery Unit at Willow View which is a specialist rehabilitation unit working with people with psychosis as they recover from their illness. I also work in the Newcastle Step up Hub team, which is a community based team, again specialising in supporting people with psychosis in the community. Both these teams focus on providing consistent high quality care with a focus on continuity of care and recovery.
I am interested in ways services can develop to improve the quality of their service particularly thinking about how team roles can develop to achieve this. I have, working with a colleague, developed and evaluated the role of the medical assistant in mental health services and am now supporting the expansion of this role.
I also have a clinical interest in sports psychiatry and recently co-edited the Oxford University Press Handbook on Sports Psychiatry.
In addition to clinical work I have an interest in and passion for education. I have previously held positions with Health Education England NE, Newcastle University and The Royal College of Psychiatrists in medical education and have been the NTW Director of Medical Education for the last four years. I have a particular interest in improving the quality of medical education in psychiatry from medical students through to consultants and believe this is key in improving both clinical care and recruitment. I have been involved in developing the use of simulation based training within NTW and think this form of training, particularly when done in a multi-professional way, helps all clinicians develop their clinical skills, team working and hence patient care. I am also interested in how we can support overseas doctors working in the NHS and how UK based doctors can develop through the experience of working overseas.