NHS manager to shape national approach to mental health care

Clair CarsonA local health service manager will help shape the future of mental health practice across the UK after being appointed to the Royal College of Nursing Mental Health Committee.

Clair Carson, a mental health Service Manager for Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, secured one of just seven places on the committee following an application and interview process.

The committee is made up of experienced mental health staff who advise the Department of Health and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on policy and best practice in treating people with mental health conditions.

Clair, who will serve a four year term from January 2015, has 22 years’ experience as a Registered Mental Health Nurse and manages acute mental health services in Bury, Oldham and Rochdale.

Clair said she was delighted to have the chance to influence approaches to mental health care across the UK.

She said: “It’s very exciting to have this chance to be on the cutting edge of shaping new mental health policy.

“Having worked with people experiencing serious mental health problems for more than 20 years, I know that receiving treatment can often be a difficult and daunting experience for patients.

“Joining the Royal College of Nursing Mental Health Committee gives me the chance to share this perspective and help to ensure all NHS staff have the training and guidance to make the experience of mental health care as positive as possible for patients and their families.”

Clair will share her expertise on areas such as mental health crisis teams and the use of the Rapid Assessment Interface and Discharge (RAID) model in A&E departments, which involves experienced mental health staff assessing patients who arrive at emergency departments experiencing a mental health crisis and signposting them to appropriate support.

Clair was sent on a research scholarship to New Zealand earlier this year by charity the Florence Nightingale Trust to learn about how mental health services there have successfully used the RAID model to reduce repeat admissions and support patients.

Pennine Care Acting Director of Nursing Ian Trodden Clair’s appointment was a testament to Trust’s commitment to constantly developing mental health services to provide high quality care for patients.

He said: “I am sure Clair’s expertise will be a valuable asset in shaping mental health policies nationally.

“As a Trust, we always strive to make the experience of our mental health service users as positive as possible and ensure our staff deliver excellent and compassionate care.

“We are extremely proud of Clair’s appointment and pleased to have Pennine Care represented on the committee.”

Pennine Care provides mental health services across Bury, the Rochdale borough, Oldham, Tameside and Glossop and Stockport both in hospitals and in the community.