17 June 2010
AWP clinician awarded OBE in Birthday Honours list
AWP is delighted to announce that one of its Swindon based
clinicians has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours
list for her work in developing a Primary Mental Health Care
Dr Elizabeth Howells of Wootton Bassett discovered that she was
to be given the prestigious commendation after Avon and Wiltshire
Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) nominated her in
recognition of the way her work has benefited people in Swindon and
beyond. The service model developed by Liz Howells has provided
accessible and effective help for people experiencing common mental
health issues and difficulties.
The service is highly regarded locally by patients, GP's who
make referrals, other mental health services and agencies working
locally. The Swindon Primary Mental Health Care Service set up by
Liz in Swindon and rolled out to cover Wiltshire during the past 15
years has been recognised as a model of good practice nationally,
and has influenced national strategy. The Service has introduced a
number of innovative and socially inclusive approaches:
- It was the first example in the UK of a LIFT - least
intervention first time - approach in Primary Mental Health
Care. The resulting targeted Stepped Care Model has been
adopted by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)
Care Guidelines for a range of mental health disorders.
- Accessible no wait service - from the outset the service was
based on the principle of no waiting time - clients could book
themselves into the next available slot immediately after a GP
- Use of courses - the service uses a training approach, and runs
a wide range of courses, often in the evenings, covering a range of
common psychological problems and mental health issues.
- Use of volunteers - clients who have themselves received help
from the service are used to assist with courses, and with the
running of the service.
AWP's Director of Psychology, Bill Jerrom, who supported the
nomination said "In spite of all of her achievements Liz remains a
very modest person; she was delighted but overwhelmed by our
suggestion that she should be nominated for a national award!"
In response to the confirmation of the honour, Dr Howells said
that she is delighted: "I received a letter three weeks ago telling
me that I was to receive the OBE, although I don't see it as an
award for myself but rather for my entire team of which I just
happen to be the lead person.
"I hope more than anything that this award will be seen as a
positive acknowledgement of the high quality mental health services
which people receive in this area, and that it will raise the
profile of the service."