21 February 2019
Mental health nurses provide the backbone of support, says Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust
On the first ever Mental Health Nurses Day, Avon and Wiltshire
Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust is saying thank you to
all its mental health nurses, who provide the backbone of support
to our service users. The Trust is also encouraging people to
consider a career in mental health nursing.
Founded by the Royal College of Nursing's Mental Health Forum,
Thursday 21 February marks the first ever Mental Health Nurses Day.
It aims to celebrate the work of mental health nurses and to
promote working in mental health as a career choice.
AWP employs over 1,200 mental health nurses to who work in a
variety of roles and settings.
AWP's Director of Nursing, Julie Kerry, said: "Day in, day out,
our nurses are providing vital support to some of the most
vulnerable in our community. Much of their work goes unseen and
unheard, but everyday their dedication and commitment is supporting
people to live their best life.
"There are so many good things about being a mental health
nurse. It's a demanding, but extremely rewarding role, promoting
and supporting service users' recovery and enabling them to have
more involvement and control over their condition. Within AWP our
nurses work with children and young people, older adults, those in
secure services, those going through the Ministry of Justice
process, inpatients and out in the community delivering care in
hospitals, clinics and in people's homes."
Celebrating some of our staff:
Jane Palmer, Mental Health Nurse, Swindon
Jane Palmer started work as a mental health nurse in 1974 at the
Roundway Hospital in Devizes. After completing her training Jane
went to work in Swindon, initially at Stratton Hospital on an
elderly care ward, before moving to Seymour Clinic, and then on to
a community-based role.
After several years, during which the team moved to the Old
Victoria Hospital, Jane moved to work in a new team in Marlborough
and then on to Devizes. She retired from full-time work in 2013 but
returned to work part time in Chippenham before taking up her
current role in the Primary Care Liaison Service (PCLS) team in
Swindon as a specialist nurse in older adults care.
Speaking about her career, Jane said: "Over the 44 years I have
worked in mental health I have seen many changes to the care
provided to our service users. There is a great deal of work being
done to ensure people with mental health issues get the care they
need, when and where they need it. Much more support is provided in
the community now and it's so rewarding to be able to improve the
quality of people's lives."
Katy Brown, Mental Health Nurse, Salisbury
Katy Brown, who is a staff nurse at Fountain Way Hospital in
Salisbury, said: "I had never worked in health care before but
while I was being supported as a carer by the Early Intervention
(EI) Team I thought it might be something I would like to do. I
applied to be a Health Care Assistant (HCA) in 2014 and one of the
nurses suggested I should do my nurses training. I applied for the
access to Higher Education Course and continued to work while
studying. I then began my course at Bournemouth University while
continuing to work. It was great to have the support of the staff
on the ward who could provide assistance and guidance on course
work and other areas of my studies. I often used the experience
from being an HCA and applied it to my studies."
Kevin Stott, Mental Health Nurse, Blackberry Hill Hospital,
Kevin Stott qualified as a mental health nurse in 2001 and
worked in London before joining AWP's Recovery Team in Bristol as a
specialist recovery practitioner. Kevin is also a named
professional for Adult Safeguarding.
Kevin said: "After experiencing a physical illness in 1997,
requiring months of follow up treatment, I was so impressed with my
nurse's approach to my recovery that I resolved that I wanted to
apply my interest in a similar way to impact other people's
recovery, as he had mine. I started my training the following
"The best part of my role is the sheer variety of what every day
will bring and the opportunities to hear others' stories, trying to
problem solve as a team and using your knowledge, experience and
humanity to assist the recovery of service users."
Click on each profile below to find out more about our nurses
and their journey.
To find out more about working for AWP, visit http://jobs.awp.nhs.uk