Short Lists & Panel 2021

Appointments panel for the 2020 awards:

PANEL MEMBERS 2021:  Dr Russell Ashmore (MHNA), Dr Miriam Barrett (West London NHS Trust), Professor Len Bowers (past lecturer),  Dr Joy Bray (co-ordinator), Geoff Brennan (past lecturer), Professor Neil Brimblecombe (past lecturer), Professor Phil Burnard (past recipient), Professor Tony Butterworth (past lecturer), Professor Patrick Callaghan (past lecturer/Lifetime), Professor Mary Chambers (Past lecturer), Professor Marie Crowe (JPMHN board), Dr John Crowley (University of Greenwich), Professor Bryn Davis (past recipient - JPMHN former editor), Professor Joy Duxbury (past lecturer), Professor Lawrie Elliot (JPMHN Editor), Professor Cheryl Forchuk (past lecturer), Catherine Gamble (past lecturer), Dr Julie Hall (Notts Health Care Trust), Dr Ben Hannigan (MHNA), Professor Sally Hardy (UEA), Marion Janner (past recipient), Professor Karina Lovell (past lecturer), Amanda Mackenzie (Lead Nurse Cassel/West London NHS Trust) Professor Hugh Mckenna (past recipient), Professor Mick Mckeown (UCLan), Beverley Murphy (SLAM), Professor Peter Nolan (past recipient), Professor Ian Norman (past lecturer), Professor Tony O’Brien (JPMHN board), Malcolm Rae (past recipient),  Dr Julie Repper (past lecturer), Professor Alan Simpson (past lecturer), Professor David Sines (past lecturer), Professor Shirley Smoyak (past recipient), Sharon Spain (SWLSTG-Tr), Dr Ben Thomas (past lecturer), Jane Wells (Director, Oxleas), Dr Gary Winship.

Skellern 2021

The panel is made up of previous lecturers and award recipients, sponsor representatives, organisers and student representatives.  The panel vote using a matrix ranking short listed candidate.  The outcome of the panel’s voting announced at the MHNR conference, September 2019.   


Celeste Foster

It is Only With The Heart That One Can see Rightly: Love as Method in Adolescent Mental Health Nursing

Judith Graham

Perceptions and Experiences that Challenge Therapeutic Encounters


Anthony O’Brien

Equally Well


Gary Winship

The Modern Mental Health Nurse, Where Now for Skellern’s Vision?



Kevin Gournay


Brenda Happell


Steve Jamieson


Skellern Lecture 2021

It is Only With The Heart That One Can see Rightly: Love as Method in Adolescent Mental Health Nursing (AMHN) – Dr Celeste Foster, senior lecturer in adolescent mental health at the University of Salford.

Across the life course, the highest burden of mental illness falls on adolescents. It is the peak age of onset of severe mental health conditions that persist into adulthood. Psychosocial development in the second decade of life sets the neurological, affective and occupational frame in which the rest one’s life and wellbeing, or not, is played out. Yet, despite vociferous political narratives to the contrary, adolescent mental health services are and have always been under-funded, subsumed within an adult-focused psychiatric framework. AMHN struggles under a weight of stigma by association: infantilised and marginalised like the young people for whom it provides care. The role, contribution and relational technicality of AMHN, particularly in hospital settings, is repeatedly made invisible, or hidden from view, and is absent from research. In this lecture I will draw on my own and the work of others, to show what happens when systematic psychodynamic methods of inquiry, that accept the role of intimacy and love in the formation and reparation of mental distress, are used to shine a light on the work of AMHN. It reveals itself as a highly complex, interfulgent relational process - shining through political, cultural, institutional and disciplinary hegemonies that seek to obscure it from view. It has much to teach us about the basis of all mental health nursing work, if you only stop for a moment and look carefully. Central to the AMHN process is implementation of the aspects of the primary carer-child relationship that are understood to bring emotional and mental resilience to life. I propose that this is a rigorous and technical form of love, an essential nursing method for creating the interpersonal conditions for recovery from acute and complex mental distress, especially when it manifests in young people. The specific characteristics of love as method, and its implications beyond AMHN, including for the provision of effective support to enable nurses working with people of all ages who are experiencing complex and enduring mental health needs, will be explored.

Perceptions and Experiences that Challenge Therapeutic Encounters - Dr Judith Graham, Queens Nurse RNMH, Director for Psychological Professionals at Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust.

Patient support, safety and workforce wellbeing are at the heart of the NHS Long Term Plan and heavily feature in the NHS People Plan published in 2020. Visions for how this will be delivered are optimistic and moving at pace. However, some concern has been raised about how patient and clinician access factors contribute to potential health inequality. My doctoral research focused upon how different patient and multi-professional staff aspects can affect treatment encounters, choices and offers. The particular focus was with people who present with complex trauma and may have a diagnosis of personality disorder.  My clinical practice has built upon these research findings working with individuals, teams and systems who have experienced recent and past trauma, exploring how this has affected care journeys and care culture. Difficulties have been found when making decisions for referral and treatment with people where there is diagnostic conflict or complex physical and mental health problems. Other challenges have been identified regarding:- the patient/clinician relationship; the level of distress / emotion in the encounter; the clinician’s health state; differing perceptions pertaining to the individual and / or the diagnosis; and the available treatments and resources. The pandemic has brought into focus an increased need to consider engagement and inclusion and reduce health inequalities. The need to recognise influences which affect treatment access and choices is therefore of significance. In addition, the move to providing more ‘trauma informed services’ which span primary and specialist mental health care, brings real opportunities to engage people in a different way, which is proposed to be discussed in this lecture.  

Equally Well - Dr Anthony O’Brien (RN, BA, MPhil, PhD, FNZCMHN, ONZM), Associate Professor, University of Waikato, NZ.

Equally Well is a collaborative New Zealand initiative aimed at addressing the well-known health disparities experienced by people with mental illness. The Equally Well collaborative has been in place for six years. It began with a realisation that individual consumers, clinicians, researchers and policy makers had been working on the issue of health disparities for several years. There was a thirst for collaboration, for interested parties to work together to address the multiple issues that could lead to improved physical health for people with mental illness. Currently over 100 New Zealand organisations have committed to the goals of the Equally Well collaborative. These include health service providers, professional organizations, non-government organisations, and education providers. Amongst the major achievements of Equally Well to date are the organization of annual national symposia, development of a network of champions who promote Equally Well issues in their practice settings and workplaces, and advice to health policy and guidelines.  The work of the Equally Well collaborative is informed by the contributions and involvement of people with lived experience of people with lived experience of mental distress and illness, and addictions.  Involvement of New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people is fundamental to the work of Equally Well. Maori experience health disparities in almost every area, and require solutions that recognize mana whenua, the knowledge of Maori about their health experience and how health outcomes can be improved.  This presentation will outline the work of Equally Well, significant achievements to date, and the strategy for progressing the agenda of equal health outcomes for people with mental illness. Nurses have a significant role to play in this issue. However while nursing literature reports many examples of improvements in practice, it also suggests that nurses experience some ambivalence about their role in promoting the physical health of people with mental illness.  

The Modern Mental Health Nurse, Where Now for Skellern’s Vision? – Dr Gary Winship, Associate Professor, University of Nottingham.

How does Skellern’s vision of a modern mental health nurse - dynamically informed, democratically committed and compassionately focused – bear scrutiny today? Arguably, there is much to esteem, for example the on-going influence of the Cassel Hospital (where Eileen Skellern began her journey), or perhaps the psychoanalytically informed Halliwick Day Hospital that Marion Janner described as the model for her first iteration of Star Wards. The front-line psychodynamic work of nurses like Anne Aiyebusi, Marcus Evans, Celeste Foster also highlight the psychodynamic legacy of Skellern.  Skellern’s influence is arguably felt in the emancipatory practices of Recovery Colleges (Julie Repper being a direct descendant of Skellern at the Maudsley), and in the fact the first professor of democratic mental health in the UK is a MHN (Mick Mckeown). This lecture will offer a brief route map to Skellern’s Therapeutic Community journey, starting at the Cassel Hospital through to her work at the Henderson (where Maxwell Jones dedicated his 1968 landmark book Social Psychiatry, “to the work of Eileen Skellern and the other nurses at the Henderson”). Finally, reflecting on Skellern’s leadership in establishing the Charles Hood Therapeutic Community at Bethlem in the late 1970s, where we can see the culmination of her vision for MHN practice. The critical question going forward is how can Skellern’s Modern Mental Health Nurse be consolidated and advanced?  This lecture will propose an ideological tripod for re-envisioning the modern MHN comprising of core attributes tallied to, i) renewed communitarian practices, democratic and psychosocially informed, ii) interpersonal skills honed for navigating sustained therapeutic intimacy with people in distress, iii) co-operative participatory cycles of privileging service user voice through qualitative research.  I will point to examples of dynamic relational education that can enhance the process of learning the art and craft of how to be alongside people who are hurting, and finally I will set out the groundwork processes of supervision and personal development that continue at the heart of my own practice as a MHN.  

Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing Lifetime Achievement Award 2021

Professor Kevin Gournay, CBE RN PhD CPsychol CSci FRCN FMedSci FRSM AFBPsS Cert CBT. Emeritus Professor of Psychiatric Nursing, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience: King’s College: London. Honorary Professor: Faculty of Medicine and Health: University of Sydney

Kevin Gournay’s career has spanned more than 50 years. Following combined training as a Nurse in Learning Disabilities and Mental Health; periods as a nurse teacher, in adult nursing and as a Charge Nurse in a therapeutic community ward, he completed an 18-month full time training as a Nurse Therapist at the Maudsley Hospital in 1978. This proved to be a turning point in his life. Since that time, he has continued, either full-time or part-time, to work in clinical practice, providing CBT. In the 14 years that followed his training at the Maudsley, he worked as a Nurse Therapist in the NHS, completed his Masters, PhD and post-doctoral education (all part time). He won a grant to conduct (with the late Julia Brooking) an RCT of CPN effectiveness and an epidemiological study of body dysmorphic disorder; this being followed by an RCT of treatment that led to the treatment model used today. In this time, his other experiences included using his CBT skills in palliative care settings and with women who had experienced stillbirth, or perinatal death (this following personal experience).  He also became involved in the setting up of 2 national charities (one for cancer care, one for anxiety). In 1992 he was recruited from the NHS, by Professor June Clark (then President of the Royal College of Nursing), and became a Professor of Mental Health at Middlesex University. In this post he developed a Masters programme in mental health interventions and co-led a number of research projects. During this period, he began to expand activities to Europe, the USA and Australia, and continued with the international development work in which he had become involved in the late 1980’s in Eastern Europe. In 1995, Kevin was appointed as the first Professor of Psychiatric Nursing at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London; a post he held until 2006. During his time there, he served for 2 years as Chair of Institute’s Academic Board, won funding for MRC doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships, a number of research studies, developed innovative training in dual diagnosis and medication management and had an oversight role of several other training programmes. He was involved in national policy development in prison mental health, high secure settings and specialist personality disorder services. He also served as a specialist advisor to the UK joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, as well as providing advice to ministers and the CNO. He worked on a trans-European practice development project (funded by the EC in 14 countries) that focussed on the empowerment of service users. Kevin also worked as a consultant to WHO on international development projects in Russia and other countries and until 2013, on a project in Palestine, aimed at developing mental health services in the West Bank and Gaza.  Since retiring from his post in 2006, Kevin has continued to work in clinical settings in a tertiary service for people with OCD and complex PTSD (recently much of his work has involved Military personnel). He has also continued his collaboration with colleagues in Australia, including assisting with the setting up of a Centre for Comorbidity (originally at the University of New South Wales and now at the University of Sydney) where he holds a Professorial position. Kevin spends several weeks each year in Australia and is a co-author on the National Guidance on comorbidity, funded by the Federal Government, with a 3rd edition to be published in late 2021. For the past 20 years he has worked as an expert witness in the UK and Republic of Ireland in cases involving suicide, homicide, human rights issues, and detention under the Mental Health Act in medium and high secure services. He has extensive experience of presenting mental health issues in print, radio and television media and has served as a member of numerous editorial boards. He is currently consultant editor to the British Journal of Mental Health Nursing. Much of his time now is devoted to an initiative to build an infrastructure of Enhanced supported living facilities across the Midlands and North of England for those recovering from enduring mental health problems. He is also President of No Panic, a national anxiety disorders Charity that he assisted in founding 30 years ago.  He is the author or co-editor of 17 books and monographs (including one book published in the Welsh language), 56 chapters in books, 16 reports and literature reviews, 120 articles in peer reviewed journals and numerous articles in magazines, including book reviews and comment pieces. He continues to serve as a reviewer for several funding bodies. Kevin was appointed CBE in the New Year’s Honours in 1999 for his services to psychiatric nursing, research and education. He is Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and holds a number of other fellowships, honorary fellowships and honorary degrees. In 2004, he was elected as Psychiatric Nurse of the Year by the American Psychiatric Nurses’ Association.   He lives with his wife Jean (who is a clinical psychologist) in Hertfordshire. He has 4 children and has multiple family connections with the NHS and social care. He is a lifetime supporter of Charlton Athletic. He was taken to his first match by his dad Joe in 1951 – Joe was the inspiring influence for Kevin’s book on PTSD. Kevin is the veteran of 17 marathons, and continues to run with Broxbourne Runners.  Synopsis address: Lessons learned, things I got wrong and things I got right – and much more in between.  The introduction to the talk will mention the many who have provided inspiration, advice, support and encouragement in times when it was needed most and invaluable practical assistance on many more occasions.   There are four individuals who will receive particular mention, Professor Isaac Marks, Eileen Skellern (RIP), Dr Jim Birley (RIP) and Professor Sir David Goldberg. I will explain why I have chosen each of these individuals. It may be asked – why is there only one nurse among these four individuals? I will set out my reasons; saying that the three “non-nurses” mentioned, provided not only enormous support and influence to me personally, but more so to our profession of mental health nursing in particular.  The talk will then focus on four particular areas and draw from personal experiences and publications over the past 40 years, to address the matters identified in the title of the talk.  The topics are as follows:  Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) as a panacea, The randomised controlled trial (RCT) as a gold standard, Debates and Controversies in Mental Health Nursing – “Some things I stand by; some I got wrong and on some topics….I’ll say no more at present”. Where have we been and Where are we going?

Professor Brenda Happell, RN, Cert Psych Nurs., BA(Hons), Dip Ed., B Ed., M Ed., PhD. Adjunct Professor, Professor of Nursing at the University of Newcastle, AU. Brenda is a registered nurse with specialist qualifications in mental health nursing.  Brenda has 30 years’ experience in academia, including as: inaugural Director of the Centre for Psychiatric Nursing, the University of Melbourne, Director of the Institute for Health and Social Science Research, Central Queensland University and Professor of Nursing and Executive Director of Synergy, Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre, University of Canberra and ACT Health.  Brenda identifies as an ally to the consumer/service user movement, specifically in the education of health professions.  She implemented the first known mental health consumer academic position at the University of Melbourne, and additional positions at Central Queensland University and the University of Canberra. She has actively researched in this area and adheres to principles of coproduction as much as possible.  Brenda has published approximately 460 peer reviewed papers, four books and nine book chapters.  She has attracted approximately $15 million in competitive funding, and currently leads a major grant: Improving the cardiometabolic health of people with psychosis:  The Physical Health Nurse Consultant service, a nurse-led initiative.  She was Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing from 2004 to 2014, Brenda is currently a member of Editorial Boards of six international health and nursing journals. She is a life member and former Board Director of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.  Brenda has received numerous awards including the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC) Inaugural lifetime Ally Award in 2018, the Queensland Mental Health Week Mental Health Achievement Award in 2013 and most recently the TheMHS Exceptional Contribution Award at the 2019 Mental Health Service Awards for her exceptional contribution to mental health. Brenda now lives in country Victoria with her partner and their cat.  She enjoys travelling (without the deadlines), spending time with her adult son and watching Australian Rules football.  She is committed to ageing disgracefully. Address synopsis: Working together for change: Experts by Experience and Nurse Academics coproducing and evaluating a mental health nursing learning module.  Service user participation in all aspects of mental health services is increasingly embedded in mental health policy internationally.  Realising this goal is often obstructed by the reluctance of health professionals to work collaboratively with service users as colleagues and experts. Involving service users in the education of health professionals has been demonstrated to impact positively by reducing stigma and enhancing the popularity of mental health nursing as a career. The Coproduced Mental Health Nursing Education (COMMUNE) project was an international project with the aim of introducing mental health service users (referred to as Experts by Experience) into the mental health nursing teaching teams.  The project involved the coproduction of a mental health nursing module by Experts by Experience and Mental Health Nurse Academics, based on first-hand experience of service use.  A multi-method evaluation was undertaken to determine the impact of the Expert by Experience taught learning module, on nursing student attitudes and experiences. The evaluation included:  i) pre- and post-administration of surveys measuring attitudes to people with mental illness, service user participation and mental health nursing; ii) focus groups with nursing students; and, iii) interviews with Experts by Experience conducting the teaching.  The questionnaire findings demonstrate attitudinal improvement across all scales with some significant findings.  From focus groups and individual interviews, recognising the person behind the diagnosis was a key theme.  The project findings overwhelmingly support the important role Experts by Experience have in the education of nursing students, and make a significant contribution to the growing evidence-base for this innovative approach to teaching.  At both professional and personal levels this work has been amazing.  I learned the importance of being an ally and champion, and doing all that I could do to facilitate service user academic roles and enhance their sustainability.  The most important lesson for me was to know what I don’t know and acknowledge the need for service users to speak for themselves.  Not only did this change the course of my career it changed my life. Through this presentation it would be my privilege to share some of these experiences with you.

Steve Jamieson MSc BSc (Hons) RN Chief Executive and General Secretary

Steve is an experienced chief executive and senior health leader.  Steve joined the College of Podiatry as Chief Executive and General Secretary in September 2017. Prior to this he was CEO of The Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, where he was instrumental in guiding the organisation successfully through a period of change and development resulting in the Hospice receiving an outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission.  A mental health nurse by profession and a prominent nursing leader, Steve was Director of Nursing at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and was responsible for leading on the RCN's professional nursing agenda, and delivering its mission to represent nurses and nursing, promote excellence in practice and shape health policies. Prior to working at the RCN Steve held senior nursing posts at St Thomas Hospital and Maudsley Hospital London. Steve spearheaded and led the first ENB 934 HIV and Mental Health Programme when he was Lecturer Practitioner at South London and Maudsley. Steve’s distinguished professional career includes roles as the President of the European Association of Nurses in AIDS Care and working as part of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and World Health Organisation on projects relating to HIV/AIDS. He is a Trustee of Dementia UK and  chairs their Clinical Committee and was a former vice chair of the Board of Trustees at the Sussex Beacon Hospice in Brighton.  A key player in health and social care policy and practice Steve has made significant changes in the delivery of health policy both nationally and internationally, presented keynote addresses at national and international events and has published widely including book chapters, forewords and articles in respected health care journals. Hot off the Press….Steve has just been informed that his current organisation has just received Royal College Status, following his leadership to get the organisation fit for purpose to gain this wonderful title and recognition. In summary a mental health nurse who has diversified his skills and expertise across a number of health organisations and has always been grounded in his nursing roots.  Address Synopsis: From Nurse to CEO.  Highlighting my highs and lows of leadership and what I have learnt both professionally and personally, I will also share what has motivated me to always deliver within a varied health and social care arena. I will talk about my work in  the charity sector, especially in dementia care both from a CEO perspective, as a nurse and also carer of my dear friend Jim who I cared for at home for ten years up to his death 2 years ago.  My experience of caring for Jim led me to be a Trustee for Dementia UKs and chair  their clinical committee. I also work with carers in navigating the absolute minefield of services. As a CEO I have always put patients first and has enabled me achieve numerous successes throughout my career both nationally and international, all these I would share with the audience.