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Meet the team

Alane Bould – Head of Patient and Carer Involvement

Alane joined the Trust in September 2005 and has been in post since June 2019.  Clinical audit, internal audit, finance and service review background within the NHS. Previously an Operational Manager for 23 years in the Civil Service.

Paul Nicol – Patient and Carer Involvement Facilitator

Paul is new to the Involvement team, joining in July 2019 and brings 20 years of health and social care experience. Having worked mainly with adults with learning disabilities and adults recovering from mental health issues. Paul has also worked a little, with younger people and older adults. He worked in the voluntary sector before hand and has worked in the NHS since 2015.

Paul also brings his own lived experience of mental health issues to the team. He has mostly worked in the community, he brings trusted engagement skills and an ability to see issues and solutions from a range of viewpoints, which he enjoys using to build recovery capital, build community capacity and developing meaningful involvement opportunities that people want and have asked for. Paul would describe recovery capital as people who are in recovery and or people who can see recovery happening and he describes community capacity as the communities ability to support one and other before or after turning to services.

Contact:  07769 242 704

Dawn Willis – Patient and Carer Involvement Facilitator, Central

Dawn joined the involvement team, on a 12 month secondment in September 2019, Dawn started her career in the NHS in 2008 working in the Health Improvement team as a Health Trainer, providing support and information to adults within the local community to promote health and wellbeing. Dawn progressed within the team and has experience delivering information to children, adults and people with educational and additional learning needs. Upon completing a Degree in NHS Health and Social Care Leadership she took up the challenge of her substantive post as Health Improvement Practitioner leading on the promotion of sexual health and facilitating training programmes within her portfolio area. Dawn is looking forward to working within all areas of the patient and carers involvement team over the coming months.

Contact: 07866 133 240

Nicola Armstrong – Service User and Carer Involvement Facilitator (Sunderland and South Tyneside)

Nicola has contributed to developing, evaluating and continuously improving services from a service user and carer perspective for over 25 years. Her initial role within the Trust was as a User Development Worker with an Assertive Outreach Team, and the role was described as innovative by the CQC. Nicola was the first person employed within a team because of her own lived experiences of using services.

Nicola has a wealth of experience in education and training, research, involvement, service improvement work, audit and evaluation.

This role enables her to draw upon all of her experiences as a service user, carer and as a member of staff to support the ‘bigger picture’ in striving for shared understanding, collaboration and the true meaning of co-production.

Contact: 07920 154 568

Ashton Davidson – Involvement Coordinator 

Ashton has worked for the Trust for five years, beginning her career as a business administration apprentice with the Perinatal Community Mental Health Team. On finishing her Level 3 NVQ in business administration, Ashton worked as a ward clerk on an elderly organic ward for 2 years before joining the Involvement Team in March 2018. Ashton also works as a nursing assistant on weekends and is currently studying to achieve her Level 5 Diploma/Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care.

Contact: 07971 387 634

Carol Desborough – Patient and Carer Involvement Facilitator, North Cumbria

Carol has worked within the NHS since 2003. Predominately with older adults, ward based and community. Carol completed an Assistant Practitioner course in 2009. From then she has completed several courses which include CBT and SFBT therapy, Utilising Cognitive Behavioural and Solution focussed approaches where required as part of individuals recovery plan. This gave carol the opportunity to train carer champions across teams, take forward the carers agenda and ensure their voice is heard. Carol brings experience of working with Carers, Providing Education, Practical Strategies and Emotional Support. Carol is very much looking forward to starting her new role as Patient and Carer Involvement Facilitator with CNTW, North Cumbria.

Contact – 07768658386

Faye Atkinson – Patient and Carer Involvement Facilitator, North Cumbria

Faye is a qualified occupational therapist (OT) and has specialised her career in inpatient mental health settings, working as an OT in inpatient psychiatric rehabilitation and more latterly, as senior occupational therapist in older adult functional mental health.
Having worked within leadership team in her previous role, she has lead on service developments and improvement projects such as; service user experience and wellbeing, enhancing the ward therapeutic environment and implementing The Triangle of Care. Faye is very passionate about recovery and how we develop services to embrace this which has led to her joining the involvement team to for North Cumbria locality.

Contact – 01228 602100 / 07812493009
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Chris Reader – Media Lead

Chris joined the involvement team in February 2019 on a secondment as Media Lead.  Prior to this Chris worked in an adult mental health community treatment team for five years as a Peer Supporter, using his own lived experience of mental health and mental health services to support other service users and carers.   Chris has also worked with Recovery Colleges to co-produce and co-facilitate courses on Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP), self-awareness and personal growth, as well as facilitating CNTW’s service user and carer leadership programme.

Email –