The School of Health and Social Care at Bournemouth University and Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust (DHC) have established the University Department of Mental Health (UDMH).
This exciting collaboration will prepare and develop health and social care practitioners for the south west and south central regions. Practitioners and academics can come together and undertake projects that will lead to service improvement.
The key aim of the UDMH is to improve professional practice and the care for service users and carers by:
- Increasing clinical standards through education, research, enterprise and practice development, and by attracting and retaining high calibre staff.
- Continually educating the mental health workforce with an emphasis on inter–professional learning and practice.
- Fostering inter–professional funded research programmes, leading to high quality, evidence based practice, recognition externally, dissemination of findings through conferences and publications.
- Adding value to the Trust through the process of ’practice development unit’ accreditation, a rigorous auditing and service improvement process.
Under the leadership of Professor Clarke, working closely with Dr Andy Mercer an annual action plan for the work of the UDMH has been developed. Governance arrangements have been identified and the first annual report has been produced and sent to the DHC Board and the BU Senate.
- Professor Sue Clarke is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust.
- Dr Andy Mercer is the Professional Lead for Mental Health in the School of Health and Social Care. His major interests are in teaching, research and practice development in mental health and in professional and interprofessional practice.
Professor Gail Thomas, Dean of the School of Health and Social Care, commented “This very pleasing change is the result of hard work to demonstrate the strong commitment on behalf of both organisations, with the ultimate aim being to improve care for patients and service users” … “this will be of benefit to staff and students but, more importantly, to those in need of high quality, evidence based care”.