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2015, June 11th, Institute of Mental Health, & University of Nottingham 

SKELLERN LECTURE, Professor Ian Norman -  The art and science of mental health nursing: reconciled in the interests of recovery oriented practice and public mental health

Introduced by Joy Duxbury

It is my pleasure to present to you Professor Ian Norman. Interestingly to my knowledge Ian and I have never met (I may regret saying that) but clearly I am familiar with his work and his legacy. I have it on very good authority from my dear friends Professor Wikipedia and Dr Google that Ian has been a very busy person over the last few decades.  He began his educational journey at Exeter School.  

He then travelled to middle England where he studied for a BA degree at the University of Keele (1980). Having found his feet in academia he went onto to study for an MSc at the University of Edinburgh (1986) and later eloped back to England where he gained a PhD from the University of London.  Professionally he is a qualified mental health nurse, a general nurse and learning disability nurse. I reckon a dual qualification is okay but a triple nursing qualification is just plain greedy.  He then went over to the dark side and became a social worker. He maintains his clinical practice through an Honorary appointment as a CBT Psychotherapist within South London & Maudsley NHS Trust.  He is well known as the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Nursing Studies, one of the leading academic nursing journals in the world. (Yes I am hoping to have a paper accepted)!  His research has had significant impact globally and Ian has studied a range of important topics including nurse prescribing, cadet schemes, the quality of nursing care and computer-assisted learning for nursing.  His key text the Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing reflects his passion for the profession and for his work.  He has taught and conducted research in Europe, China and Brazil.  The extent of his legacy has ben recognized in a number of ways to date.  Ian was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing in 2009 and a Fellowship of the American Academy of Nursing in 2012, one of the few Brits to ever receive this honor.  Ian has been Professor of Mental Health at King's College London since 1997, and is now Deputy Dean of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery.  Whilst Ian Norman is clearly famous he shares his name with other famous Normans including: Norman Bates, Norman Wisdom, Norman The Great. And Professor Ian Norman is indeed Great!!!!  Would you please join me in welcoming Ian to the stage to take over the huge responsibility of accepting the Eileen Skellern Award 2015." (JD_

Lecture Synopsis: In his Lecture he will trace the history of mental health nursing as a practice and academic discipline and its origins in two traditions: the interpersonal relations tradition (the art of mental health nursing) and the evidenced-based tradition (the science).  He will argue that these traditions have historically been seen in conflict but that more lately these have been reconciled as the focus of mental health policy turns to promoting core values which support recovery oriented mental health practice. Looking to the future the lecture will draw upon my experience of collecting evidence as a member of the Mental Health Foundation’s Inquiry into the future of mental health services (MHF 2013) and reflect on the implications of future directions for the profession. 


Introduced by Hugh Mckenna

Marion Janner OBE, founder of Star Wards, will also receive the 2015 JPMHN Lifetime Achievement Award and will deliver an address which will be a reflection on her life and work.  The Lifetime Achievement award is made to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of Mental Health.  Marion’s award recognises the improvements that ‘Star Wards’ have brought to psychiatric practice and especially mental health nursing.  


Marion was shortlisted along with other candidates, and her appointment was made by a panel made up of previous recipients and senior representatives from stakeholder organisations.  Marion’s response was: “This is an incredible honour and completely unexpected! While I work closely with, and indeed my recovery from a vicious mental illness has only been possible thanks to, mental health nurses, I’m not a nurse. I set up Star Wards to recognise and support the exceptionally skilled and demanding work of mental health nurses, not least those at my local hospital St Ann’s in Tottenham. I’m beyond thrilled to receive such an amazing accolade from the nursing community whose work I deeply admire.”  Previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award include Phil Barker, Jo Brand and the late Helen Bamber, so Marion joins much esteemed company”.


Pictured Deborah Watkins & students from University of Greenwich. Lawrie Elliot presented Marion with her plaque. Geoff Brennan. Catherine Gamble. Patrick Callaghan, Marion Janner & Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner (Marion's sister who assisted with Marion's address)

For the first time we held an In Memory section during the evening (see a short film here).  Julia Brooking’s daughter received a a posthumous Skellern Lifetime Award Plaque in memory of her mother’s contribution to Mental Health Nursing. 

Julia Brooking - 1953-2014 Reflections by Professor Patrick Callaghan

Dr Julia Irene Brooking (1952-2014) was one of the UK’s leading mental health nursing scholars. Born in Middlesbrough, Julia lived most of an idyllic childhood and rebellious teenage years in Liverpool. She started nursing in the seventies at Cane Hill hospital, Surrey, specialising in mental health before graduating in general nursing at Barts in London. Following her training, Julia worked at a variety of nursing posts in London and also spent six years in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, reaching the rank of Captain. She then took a first in Psychology at North East London Polytechnic and a PhD in Nursing at King’s College, London in 1986, with Professor Jack Hayward. Julia’s university career began in 1982 at King’s College, which was at the time the home of some of the country’s finest nursing lecturers. Although an academic, Julia had a passion for shaping practice and policy. It was no surprise when she was appointed to be Chief Nursing Adviser and Senior Lecturer in Psychiatric Nursing at the world famous Maudsley Hospital and the Institute of Psychiatry. Julia’s achievements in marrying the best evidence to practice cemented her position as one of the country’s foremost mental health nurses. In 1989 Julia assumed the foundation Professorship in Nursing and Head of Department of Nursing Studies at Birmingham University, positions that she held from 1989-1994.  After a two-year break for full-time motherhood following the birth of her daughter, Caroline, Julia returned to academic life as Director of Research at Southampton University from where she retired in 2001 to concentrate on travelling extensively with Caroline, school governorships, service to her local community, and indulging her passion for opera, wine, food, walking and tennis.  Julia’s was an illustrious life; she published widely and served on many nursing and health research panels and committees. She combined professional success with devoted motherhood and a warmth and generosity towards family, friends and colleagues. Her life was hard-earned; leaving school with two “O” Levels she rose to prominence at leading Universities. Charismatic and influential for the most part, Julia had episodes of doubt and fragility. But it was a life of added value; she was energetic, hospitable and had an unceasing love of great company. See Julia Brooking’s Obituary in the Guardian here 


Skellern: Geoff Brennan, Cheryl Kipping, Ian Norman, Theo Stickley, Steve Williams

JPMHN Lifetime Award: Dawn Freshwater, Marion Janner, Erville Miller, Ted White.

Photographs by Russell Asmore

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