Personal profile

Overview

I am a mixed-methods researcher with expertise in managing complex national multi-site projects.  My research focuses on pathways through forensic mental health services, with a particular emphasis on admission from and return to prison from secure psychiatric services and access to healthcare in the prison estate.

 

Biography

I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Manchester and graduated with a BSc (Hons) Psychology in 2010 and MRes Psychology in 2011. I then undertook a series of Research Assistant positions in clinical and healthcare settings and worked as an Independent Mental Health Advocate. It was during this role that I developed an interest in access to secure mental health services for people in the criminal justice system, and access to appropriate aftercare upon return to prison. In 2014, I began a PhD at the University of Manchester entitled ‘a comparative study of people transferred from prison to hospital: their pathway and outcomes’, supervised by Professor Jennifer Shaw, Professor Roger Webb and Professor Caroline Sanders. I graduated with a PhD Psychiatry in 2019.

I then worked as a Research Associate and Co-principal Investigator of the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit funded project entitled An investigation into aftercare planning for those remitted to prison from secure services’. I am currently Principal Investigator for the project entitledAccess assessments for admission to adult low and medium secure services.' This project is funded by the NIHR Policy Research Programme

I am currently a Lecturer in the Division of Psychology and Mental Health. My teaching responsibilities are assigned to the BSc Psychology and MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health Programmes.

I am also a University Research Ethics Committee Chair.

Research interests

My primary research interests are:

  • Pathways of care in the criminal justice system and secure mental health settings.
  • The health and social care needs of people in contact with the criminal justice system.
  • Screening and identification of health needs and risks in the criminal justice system.
  • Implementing and evaluating novel health services and initiatives to improve the health of people in contact with the criminal justice system.

I am an experienced project manager of complex multi-site mixed-methodology research projects. I have expertise in research design, qualitative and qualitative methodology and analyses, interpretation of research findings, and ensuring research findings have real world impact.  Most notable are the following projects:

A comparative study of people transferred from prison to hospital under the Mental Health Act: their pathways and outcomes’.

My doctoral research was a three phased mixed methodological study which involved: 1) a prospective cohort study all ‘prisoner-patients’ discharged from all NHS medium secure services in England and Wales, 2) a one-year follow up of all patients remitted to prison; 3) a qualitative investigation into the clinician experiences of discharge decision making. This was an ambitious project which involved independently obtaining approval from the Secretary of State for Health, alongside obtaining access to and recruitment from 101 research sites (33 NHS medium secure psychiatric services and 68 prisons) alongside a qualitative investigation with NHS clinicians. This study was the first investigation both nationally and internationally to consider the care pathways and outcomes of patients returned to prison from secure psychiatric services. The findings are currently being integrated into on-going policy developments and served as the basis to successfully gain external grant income from the NIHR.

An investigation into aftercare planning for those remitted to prison from secure services: a mixed methodology exploratory study.

This project was funded by the NIHR, Research for Patient Benefit Funding Stream. This was collaboration between members of the Health and Justice Research Network, the School of Law and an expert by experience applicant. It was a three phased mixed methodological study which incorporated: 1) two national surveys of all secure psychiatric and all prison mental health services in England and Wales 2) a qualitative investigation into the clinician experiences of the remittal care pathway, and 3) an expert consensus event to generate guidance for the effective return of people from hospital to prison. This project involved recruitment from 53 secure psychiatric services and 117 prisons. The project outputs are currently in development. A future application for external finding will be made upon publication of the study’s recommendations to implement and evaluate these in services in the North West of England.

Access Assessments for Admission to Adult Medium and Low Secure Services.                         

My current project is funded by the NIHR Policy Research Programme. This is a collaboration between members of the Health and Justice Research Network, colleagues from two NHS Trusts in the North West and North East, and a PPI applicant It is  a three phased mixed methodological study across 15 regional Provider Collaboratives which incorporates: 1) a results-based convergent meta-narrative synthesis of the literature, 2) a national retrospective and prospective investigation of referrals to access assessment services, and 3) a qualitative investigation into the clinician and patient experiences of access assessment services. This is the first study nationally to explore the process of access assessment within the newly established Provider Collaboratives. Informed by relevant stakeholders; it will provide data on current access assessment practices and recommendations for robust further delivery of services.

 

Teaching

BSc Psychology - Lecturer 

MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health - Dissertation module - Dissertation Supervisor

Supervision information

I supervise BSc and MSc students on projects relating to my research interests and am always happy to discuss potential research projects with students hoping to carry out PhD or postdoctoral research.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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