The College of Mental Health Pharmacy is governed by its Council. Members of Council are both Company Directors and Charity Trustees, and six serve as Officers of CMHP.
Council members are usually elected. However, when a vacancy arises outside of the election cycle, members may be co-opted. Occasionally, members are co-opted when Council is seeking specific skills and experience (for example a Pharmacy Technician).
Ciara Ni Dhubhlaing
Ciara Ni Dhubhlaing
MPharm, MSc, NMP, MPSI, MCMHP
Through completing her undergraduate degree at Aston it may have been inevitable that Ciara developed an interest in Mental Health. It always struck her as an area in which clinicians have the opportunity to really engage with and think about the patient as an individual and what treatment would suit their needs best rather than which slot they fit into in an algorithm.
Ciara initially worked as a relief pharmacist in community, completing her Certificate in Psychiatric Pharmacy before obtaining a mental health post in Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust (later Lancashire Care Trust) in 2004. There she was able to work on wards including Acute Assessment Units for Adult, Elderly, and Dementia patients, a PICU, a Low Secure Unit, an Alcohol Detoxification Unit, and a Tier 4 CAMHS unit. She also worked with Supported Housing, Adult and Elderly CMHTs, CRHT, AOT and EIS Teams. Whilst in Cumbria/Lancashire Ciara attended Psych 1 and 2, completed her Diploma, and obtained her non-medical prescribing qualification.
Ciara took a minor detour into physical health working on a Respiratory ward in Derry in 2012 before returning to her native Dublin working in Private Mental Health Hospitals which she says has been quite a change from both the NHS and the UK!
She obtained full credentialled membership of the CMHP in 2013 and is now Chief Pharmacist at St Patrick’s University Hospital in Dublin, with special interests in developing Medicines Reconciliation services and improving the appropriate use of Benzodiazepines. Ciara won the Hospital Pharmacy News 2014 Award for Excellence in Patient Safety. She completed her MSc in 2015 and presented her research on the impact of pharmacist counselling on the knowledge of clozapine patients at CMHP conference 2016.
Ciara believes herself to be professional, hard-working and capable. She enjoys learning and helping others to learn and has been involved in developing and delivering staff training programs and in developing Patient Information Leaflets for use in CAMHS and in Perinatal services. She has built up and maintained good working relationships in all the areas in which she has worked, both within the Multidisciplinary Team and with her Pharmacy colleagues. She is passionate about working in Mental Health and finds working directly with patients and clinical colleagues to be the most rewarding part of her job. Ciara has always found the CMHP to be an invaluable resource for support and information and is delighted to have the opportunity to be more involved in an organisation which does so much to forward the overall quality of care in mental health.
Outside of work and study she says she loves cooking, Pilates and new shoes!
Immediate Past President
Immediate Past President
BPharm, CertPsychPharm, MRPharmS, MCMHP
Juliet qualified as a pharmacist in 1991. She has worked in hospital psychiatry in Bath, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Wales.
In Bath, Juliet was made psychiatric pharmacist because she had done a couple of three month rotations in her pre-registration year. She then moved to Cheltenham as the clinical pharmacist for mental health and achieved the psychiatric therapeutics certificate at this point.
For ten years Juliet was the manager of a mental health pharmacy dispensary in Gloucester, providing a clinical and supply service to the mental health trust in Gloucestershire. It was a mixture of city problems as Cheltenham had a huge illicit drug culture, and rural issues such as transport. She helped build a fabulous team of dispensing ATO’s, checking Technicians and Clinical Pharmacists, and they all enjoyed the challenges such a range of needs required.
She then worked as the mental health clinical pharmacist for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board visiting psychiatric inpatient units dotted around Gwent. Her drives to work were always scenic, if not a little challenging in the winter.
Juliet had a little stint co-opted onto UKPPG committee from 2000-2003, which she enjoyed immensely. Since then Juliet has had two children and has been working part time.
BSc, PG Dip (Management), PG Cert (Psychopharmacology)
Jon studied for his pharmacy degree at Leicester Polytechnic between 1975 and 1978. He did his pre-registration year in community pharmacy in Cornwall, and then managed a number of community pharmacies, latterly as an Area Manager for a multiple. In 1990 he had a change of career, and moved to an acute hospital as Principal Pharmacist. He developed a keen interest in mental health, and in 1998 when Invicta Community Care NHS Trust was formed, he moved as Chief Pharmacist. Following a number of mergers, Jon is now Chief Pharmacist of Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust. Jon has overseen the transformation of clinical pharmacy in his trust, which continues to grow.
Outside of work, Jon is a keenly competitive runner, road cyclist and walks his three dogs daily. He used to race historic racing cars, but has settled down to watching others. He is married to Nicola, a Nurse Practitioner and has 3 grown up children and two stepchildren.
BPharm(Hons) PG DipPrescribingSciences PG CertHealthEcomonics, PLDC (Leadership), IHI Executive PSO, MRPharmS
Tina is chief pharmacist at Devon Partnership NHS Trust. In this role she has been supported to lead on many local, regional and national initiatives. Amongst these she is the faculty Lead for the Getting the Medicines Right work stream within the Improving Safety in Mental Health Collaborative across NHS England (South).
Qualified for over 25 years, she has experience of working as a clinical pharmacist in acute care, a prescribing adviser in primary care, and of being lead pharmacist for commissioning in the 2nd largest PCT in the country. It was this role that made her realise what was important to her and how much value she places on shaping direct patient care – it was then she decided to take on a brand new role as strategic lead pharmacist in a neighbouring mental health trust. Although not without its daily challenges, she can honestly say it’s the best decision she’s ever made!
Tina has successfully completed a variety of post graduate qualifications from health economics, prescribing sciences, management and leadership development but says it is DPTs investment in supporting her participation in the IHI Patient Safety Officer (PSO) executive training programme that has had the biggest impact on her.
She feels very privileged to have been given a great opportunity to develop and successfully establish a specialist mental health clinical pharmacy service designed and delivered using improvement methodology.
In addition to mental health pharmacy, other special interests include recovery orientated prescribing, improving physical health, medicines reconciliation, reducing harm from missed or omitted doses, developing an open and just learning culture, human factors and simulation.
Tina is well aware that she has not come into her leadership role within specialist mental health pharmacy via the usual clinical specialist / academic route and confesses to feeling slightly in awe of her more accomplished CMHP colleagues but is keen to stress that this does not mean that she is any less passionate about the NHS, pharmacy or being an advocate for Mental Health. Tina is a proactive member of a range of commissioner led, integrated care pathway groups where she works to raise awareness of a wide range of parity of esteem and MH issues within the local health and social care community. Whilst her skill set may be a bit different from the traditional council member she realises that in order to continue to improve and inform career and professional development pathways and for these other often non-technical skills that are increasingly required to lead our profession to be valued she needs first to acknowledge and value these herself. To this end Tina now feels ready to share her knowledge and experience on this with others to help further inform, shape, enhance and improve the development of Mental Health Pharmacy Leadership. She is thrilled to be offered a co-opted place on the College of Mental Health Pharmacy Council. She promises to add a different dimension which will often complement, sometimes challenge and hopefully add that new blood change Council are looking for.
Tina loves working and living in Devon with her partner Kevin, two teenage boys and adorable Scottie dog Gilbert!! When not scaring the local wildlife in lycra or neoprene either on her bicycle in the Devon hills or in the waves on the lovely North Cornish coast she can be found sampling amazing local food & drink…. Oh and to complete another Council requirement cheering on Exeter Chiefs at Sandy park!
Vice-President and Registrar (handing over Registrar role in 2020)
Vice-President and Registrar (handing over Registrar role in 2020)
MPharm (Hons) MSc DipClinPharm CertPsychPharm MRPharmS MCMHP IP
Roz is the Director of Pharmacy for Humankind, a national UK Charity.
Before moving to the third sector, she previously worked predominantly in secondary care services, including several years at Devon Partnership NHS Trust, and regularly locumed in community pharmacies. She is a credentialed CMHP member and a senior accredited RCGP trainer for their Drug and Alcohol Certificates. Roz has experience of tendering processes, implementing new services, and providing training for a variety of audiences and for several providers including the NHS, Local Authorities and private providers.
Roz has previously been awarded a Scholarship position and worked as a Pharmacist Topic Expert for NICE, and is now serving a three year term as an Expert Advisor. She is an independent non-medical prescriber specialising in substance misuse, has contributed to online resources, national publications and reviewed text book chapters on substance misuse. She is an Expert Advisor for BBC’s EastEnders and is on the Editorial Board of the Pharmaceutical Journal. She is a reserve Pharmacist member of the GPhC Statutory Committees, a member of Drug Science’s Scientific Committee and the MEP Advisory Panel.
In 2019, she co-led the UK’s first Home Office licensed drug checking service. Roz has actively participated in the NHS SW Quality and Patient Safety Improvement Programme and was involved with the NHS Improving Quality Winterbourne Medicines project to review the use of psychotropics for challenging behaviours in people with an intellectual disability. This project was short-listed for the National Patient Safety and Nursing Times Awards, winning the Service Evaluation Poster Prize runner up at the CMHP Conference in 2015.
Roz won the Research Poster Prize at the Conference in 2015 for the preliminary findings of her MSc project: ‘an exploration of the use of Novel Psychoactive Substances by individuals in treatment for substance misuse’ and the Audit Prize in 2017 for ‘changing dexamfetamine prescribing practices’. As an undergraduate she spent some time studying in the USA, undertaking a project on opiate misuse and affective disorders in fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions, the consolidated findings of which have also been published. Roz was awarded the CMHP-PRUK Research Award in 2019 which will support her PharmD focusing on the misuse of prescription medication.
Outside of work she has a young family, is a Town Councillor and volunteers as a marine mammal medic for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, assisting with rescues (mostly seals and dolphins).
MPharm, DipPsychPharm, NMP, MRPharmS, MCMHP
Head of Pharmacy for Forensic Services, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Nikki qualified as a pharmacist in 1993. She has always been passionate about mental health since early experiences as a pre-registration pharmacy graduate and then basic grade rotational pharmacist, and she started specialising in mental health in 1996 before her first introduction into forensic mental health at Rampton Hospital in 1997. She has been a member of the UKPPG and then CMHP since this time.
In 2000 Nikki emigrated to New Zealand, working in Wellington for a year and then moving to Auckland to work for Waitemata District Health Board, the largest supplier of secondary mental health services in New Zealand. She initially worked as a clinical pharmacist in the regional forensic service before taking on the Pharmacy Team Leader role for the whole of the organisation’s mental health services. During this time she successfully attained the Aston University Postgraduate Diploma in Psychiatric Pharmacy and became one of the first two overseas pharmacists to be credentialed as a specialist mental health pharmacist by the CMHP. She also served on the committee and led the New Zealand mental health pharmacy special interest group for several years, including setting up and moderating a Yahoo email group similar to the CMHP’s group.
Nikki came back to the UK in November 2011, initially working as a clinical pharmacist at Guild Lodge in Lancashire, where she qualified as an independent non-medical prescriber. She then moved on to the Midlands as the Pharmacy Team Manager leading a pharmacy team of pharmacists and technicians working across the 250 beds and three sites of the secure and complex care services of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, as well as working clinically on the two PICUs within the male part of the service and the personality-focussed rehabilitation unit. She also started marking on the Aston University postgraduate diploma.
In September 2015, Nikki moved slightly back up north into her current role – based back at Rampton Hospital, 15 years after she left. Nikki currently leads a team of mental health pharmacists, technicians and assistants to provide specialist clinical pharmacy and medication supply services across multiple sites and over 500 beds, comprising high, medium and low secure services with local, regional and national population remits. She also provides a clinical pharmacy service to a team within the high secure service and carries a remit of linking with pharmacy staff in the organisation’s offender health service, which covers multiple prisons across several counties.
Nikki joined the CMHP council in 2013, initially serving as Assistant Registrar and then Vice President prior to becoming President in November 2015.
Nikki is an enthusiastically outdoorsy person and is often out and about hill walking and climbing. She has been known to partake of the occasional half-marathon and once completed a 100km charity walk (definitely a once in a lifetime undertaking!). She is a keen supporter of rugby league and cricket. Whilst in New Zealand she qualified as a PADI Divemaster and is hankering after some tropical holidays so she can get back into some warm water!
Lead for Consultations
Lead for Consultations
BSc (Hons) DipPsychPharm, IPresc, MRPharmS, MCMHP, MA Research Methods
Lead Pharmacist for Non Medical Prescribing in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.
Azra is a pharmacist with a broad spectrum of experience in secondary care, GP practices and community pharmacy. Through the years of work in psychiatry, she became most passionate about mental health and is now Lead Pharmacist for Non-Medical Prescribing (NMP) in mental health at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. She would like to participate in the advancement of clinical practice, education and research in the field of mental health pharmacy.
She started out her career as manager in a community pharmacy but then changed direction when she took up a part-time position in a mental health Trust. She was so inspired by psychiatry that she went on to study for the certificate and then diploma in psychiatric therapeutics; then credentialed with the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP). Throughout, she has remained in practice with community pharmacy and medicines management support within GP practices.
One way to improve patient outcomes is through research. This is particularly pertinent in patients suffering with enduring mental illness. She won two awards which have helped her develop her research skills: Health Education East Midland (HEEM), then the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) for a Masters in research method. Her research interest is the topic of shared decision making with regard to use of psychotropic medication. Medicines adherence is one of the well-recognized causes of relapse in mental health conditions; enhancing adherence through patient involvement in shared decision making should improve patient outcomes. She is the lead for the PINMED (Patient Involvement in Medication Decisions) project; a tool that support shared decision making: the results of the pilot study are very encouraging.
As portfolio holder for Consultation for the CMHP council, her role is to ensure involvement of CMHP and its members in consultations for guidelines such as National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
She is an Independent Prescriber and runs a pharmacist-led clinic. She trained in phlebotomy to improve patients’ uptake of therapeutic drug monitoring. She is a member of the Non Medical Prescribing Strategic Steering group for Leicester. She represents pharmacy at the Trust Clinical Audit Standards and Effectiveness Group.
She enjoys teaching. She has previously designed the curriculum and taught on an Undergraduate Nursing course. She has provided specialist pharmacist review of Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) training material and also for the charity, Young Minds, with patient information leaflets called “Head Meds”.
In her leisure time, she loves travelling, Zumba fitness, gardening and baking.
BPharm (Hons), MSc, PGDipPsychPharm, NMP, MRPharmS
Sushma is the Deputy Chief Pharmacist for Mental Health Services (MHS) at North East London Foundation Trust. She has over twenty-five years experience in hospital clinical pharmacy, of which twenty years have been spent caring for patients in MHS.
She is passionate about her role as a clinical pharmacist. She started her career in acute hospital and undertook her MSc in clinical pharmacy. After her MSc, Sushma initiated Shared Care Guidelines for GPs with DMARDs and initiated pharmacist led patient education session which was a new innovation in those times. In her clinical role she was the lead pharmacist for ITU and medical wards.
Sushma’s interest in mental health fell by chance when the acute hospital required a clinical pharmacist to lead a project in the closure of an old Psychiatric asylum and set up the new mental health services in the community. Since then, she has never looked back as she enjoyed the multidisciplinary approach to patient care.
To specialize in mental health Sushma continued her further education and undertook certificate and diploma in Psychiatric Therapeutics. She has also completed her Non-Medical Prescribing course and is looking to pursue this in the near future.
Sushma has been a member of the UKPPG/CMHP since 1996. She is delighted and considers it a great privilege to serve as a co-optee to the council which serves as a great opportunity to contribute to the excellent work carried out by CMHP for patients, carers and its members.
Education and Research
Education and Research
MPharm (Hons), PGCertPsych, MSc, MFRPSII, MRPharmS
Karen is a Senior Pharmacist at Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. As Medicines Management Training Lead this role combines her specialism in mental health with her strong interest in education and training.
Karen was elected to the CMHP council in October 2016. With respect to her appointment to the CMHP Council, she said: “The CMHP has been a great support in developing my career as a mental health pharmacist, now I am keen to serve on the CMHP Council and work to promote the role of pharmacy and support other pharmacy teams, especially those working in smaller teams or in isolation. The support of the CMHP is vital to ensure the work of Mental Health pharmacy teams is promoted nationally.”
As well as coordinating the Trustwide courses delivered by the pharmacy team for other professions she is keen to support the pharmacy team with their own development. This is both within their specialist practice and with their wider professional skills, encouraging membership of national bodies to support with accreditation of competency.
In 2016 Karen won the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) ‘Innovation in Practice’ award at their annual conference. This was for the development of a co-produced ‘Understanding your Mental Health Medication’ workshop for service users, carers and staff in the local Recovery & Wellbeing College. Supporting people to make informed decisions about their care is one part of Karen’s work she finds the most rewarding. She is also keen to promote the potential of specialising in mental health with pharmacists in their early careers by supporting placements within her Trust.
Karen qualified as a pharmacist in 2007 having undertaken her pre-registration training at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust. She continued to work there as a resident pharmacist where she completed her general clinical pharmacy training. With the opportunity to rotate through a variety of settings she was able to work in mental health and see how valued pharmacists are as part of the mental health multidisciplinary team. In 2009 she was appointed to a specialist pharmacist post and has since had experience in a variety of mental health specialties i.e. acute adult, intensive care, eating disorders, CAMHS, rehabilitation and most recently learning disabilities. In 2013 she was appointed as Advanced Specialist Pharmacist & Education and Training Lead at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and also undertook an MSc in Pharmacy Practice at UCL. This included developing her Advanced Practice portfolio which led to her successful Royal Pharmaceutical Society Faculty submission, being accredited at Stage II, in 2015.
Karen has recently discovered the world of twitter and how social media can be used in a professional context. She can be found at @KarenPharm.
Education and Research
Education and Research
MPharm, PGDip(ClinPharm), PhD, PGCert(HE), MRPharmS, SFHEA
After qualification as a pharmacist, Richard spent his early career practising in general hospital before moving to mental health care. Following a Clinical Diploma in 2011, in 2014 he completed a PhD exploring medication administration safety in hospitals whilst working part time as a mental health clinical pharmacist. He also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education in 2017, and is currently completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Psychiatric Therapeutics.
Today, Richard is a Clinical Lecturer in Pharmacy at The University of Manchester where he combines teaching, research and clinical practice in mental health pharmacy. He pursues research focusing on medication safety in general hospitals, primary care, prisons and mental health settings, and he teaches clinical pharmacy and patient safety topics at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Education and Research
Education and Research
Matthew has been a qualified pharmacist for a little over a decade; working in Mental Health services for the majority of this. After completing the clinical diploma with Cardiff University as a basic grade in the Royal Gwent Hospital, in South Wales; Matthew made a move into Mental Health under the tutelage of Janet Sheehan and Pat Morgan.
Matthew proceeded to complete the Psychiatric Certificate and Diploma whilst working in Gwent and Milton Keynes, where he also completed research with Ian Maidment and the National Patient Safety Agency, looking at medication incidents in Mental Health and Learning Disability settings. Then followed a spell at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust as Deputy to Nigel Barnes.
In February 2016, Matthew was appointed as Chief Pharmacist at Nottinghamshire Healthcare, a large provider of Mental Health and Forensic Services, Community Health Services and Offender Healthcare. In March 2017, Matthew graduated from the NHS Leadership Academy Nye Bevan Programme. Recently, Matthew has taken up an Honorary Associate Professor role at the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham.
Matthew’s interests and passions are Mental Health (with a particular interest in perinatal), clinical pharmacy, leadership, politics, twitter (@elswood_matt) and (what some might describe as hideous) electronic music.
BSc (Hons), PGDipPsychPharm, MSc Healthcare Leadership, MRPharmS.
After qualifying as a pharmacist, Kiran started her career in community pharmacy and then very swiftly moved to a large acute hospital in Liverpool as a basic grade pharmacist. Before committing to doing the general clinical diploma, Kiran decided to give mental health pharmacy a try, and agreed to cover a colleague’s maternity leave post for 6 months in a neighbouring mental health trust.
That was 20 years ago……and she never did go back to the acute trust; she loved the real MDT approach to patient-care and value her role provided to patients. So when offered a substantive post, she jumped at the chance to stay and establish herself as a mental health pharmacist. There, she gained a wide range of experience, covering inpatient services for older adults, adult acute, substance misuse and rehabilitation specialities. She completed both the psychiatric certificate and diploma at Aston University during that time and was fortunate to gain experience in and help develop education and training for patients, carers, other healthcare professionals, and participated in undergraduate and postgraduate psychiatric pharmacy teaching at John Moore’s University. She has been a UKPPG and CMHP member since 1997.
In 2004, a re-location “down south” took her to Berkshire and a job as lead clinical pharmacist (followed by deputy chief pharmacist) at the mental health trust there. Many challenges arose during this time; a trust merger with community health services that required significant change management responsibilities and the need to lead an expanding multidisciplinary clinical pharmacy service. It also allowed many opportunities to gain additional funding and grow her clinical pharmacy team, by initiating new pharmacist roles within CMHTs, perinatal, EIP and psychiatric liaison services, and working closely with the School of Pharmacy at Reading University where she lead the development of two specialist mental health teacher practitioner pharmacist roles.
Last year, whilst undertaking a leadership masters degree, Kiran was appointed as Chief Pharmacist at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Although the challenges in her new post are quite different to those in her previous role, she continues to be an advocate for developing both clinical and leadership skills of her team members and believes in empowering and enabling all levels of staff to be caring, inclusive leaders in their own right.
Any spare time is taken up running around after her two young children, cooking, baking, cycling, singing (in the shower) and dancing (around her handbag!)
BSc Pharmacy, MSc Clinical Pharmacy, DipPsychPharm, Independent Pharmacist Prescriber, MRPharmS, MCMHP
Amanda qualified as a pharmacist in 1983. She has worked in a variety roles including community, teacher practitioner, practice pharmacist in a GP practice before moving into hospital pharmacy in Lancaster 2001. Whilst working in a GP practice she achieved an MSc in clinical pharmacy looking at the role of pharmacists in managing the discharge pathway in primary care.
As part of the role at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary she was given responsibility for the psychiatric wards which is where her passion for mental health began. She achieved the diploma in psychiatric therapeutics just as she moved to work for Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Trust (previously known as Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust) in 2004 as Lead Pharmacist for the North Lancashire locality. This role has evolved over time and she now is now the pharmacy lead across North Lancashire and South Cumbria for the mental health network and clinical lead for electronic prescribing having led on the successful roll out across all inpatient wards. Amanda has a special interest in complex trauma having been an independent non-medical prescriber within the Lancashire Traumatic Stress Service (LTSS) for the last 11 years. She has a particular interest in developing close working between psychological practitioners and prescribers to improve patient outcomes.
Amanda is a credentialed member of the CMHP and believes that the CMHP is an invaluable resource for its members and she was delighted to be given the opportunity to join the council this year.
Outside of work Amanda’s time is taken up looking after and riding her horse as well as enjoying her six grandchildren.
BPharm (Hons), MSc, MRPharmS
Petra Brown qualified as a pharmacist in 1992 working initially as a resident pharmacist at Salford Royal hospital before moving to Withington Hospital in 1995 where she was asked to temporarily cover the mental health wards. It was immediately clear how much a pharmacist could benefit the quality of care and 27 years on she has moved Trusts and roles but never out of mental health. She has always been a member of UKPPG and CMHP enjoying the professional and personal support the organisation offers.
Petra is now Chief Pharmacist at Pennine Care NHS FT having been the Greater Manchester Mental Health Medicines Optimisation Strategic Pharmacist from 2017 to 2019 and Chief Pharmacist at Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust 2000-2017.
Petra has particularly enjoyed developing and expanding her pharmacy team and services working with other providers and commissioners to improve medicines optimisation locally and strategically. She has supported and published a range of research including managing the early introduction of medicines for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, improving mental health medication safety and the use of clozapine and second generation antipsychotics in schizophrenia. The current research portfolio is particularly focussed on medicines safety in mental health and prison healthcare in conjunction with Manchester University. Recent quality improvement projects include shared decision making, implementing NICE guidance, learning from prescribing errors, medicines reconciliation in prison services and improving our service users physical health monitoring.
Petra has three children, a very giddy dog and house in Austria which keep her active. She loves walking, skiing, swimming and speaking German with her extended family.
Helen began her pharmacy career at the beginning of 2007 after dropping out of her art and design undergrad. Desperate to find a job before she broke the news to her parents, she found a part time job as a trainee dispenser in a community pharmacy. As luck would have it, Helen found a new passion in pharmacy and spent seven years in community pharmacy progressing through the pharmacy technician qualifications. During this time she had some issues with her own mental health, and a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 2009 sharpened her focus towards her patients struggling with similar diagnoses.
After qualifying and registering as a pharmacy technician in 2014, Helen made the switch to general practice and eagerly started on the BTEC Level 4 Pharmacy Clinical Services diploma to fill in the gaps in her knowledge. It was as part of this diploma that she undertook an audit to identify and review patients on the learning disability register who were prescribed antipsychotic medications. During this time she heard about and became interested in the work of members of CMHP, and joined as a member to aid her studies and indulge her personal interest in mental health pharmacy.
In August 2019 Helen changed sectors again, and began working as a Service Development Officer at PSNC. Here she assists in the creation, development, and support of community pharmacy services, and is eager to promote community pharmacy-based mental health services, allowing vulnerable patients access to support and relieving pressure from other areas of the NHS.
Helen’s free time is spent on her hobbies; arts and crafts, cooking and baking, dining out, cinema, and music. She is planning to start a Master’s degree in Public Health in January 2020.
The CMHP Council is supported in its work by organisations and individuals offering professional services. See Council support for details.