In 30 years' experience as an NHS psychiatrist I've seen how disruptive and damaging interpersonal conflict can be- within families and the wider community, and in staff teams. I now offer mediation and conflict resolution support both in the NHS and more widely in settings where I can be of help. I bring expertise of working in deprived local communities in the North East of England with awareness of peoples’ real lives. I’m also well-prepared to mediate in senior leadership disputes; I have long experience of local and regional research leadership both in the healthcare and university setting, and in my wider work I continue to support staff wellbeing as a leader of Schwartz Rounds in the NHS. I welcome opportunities to mediate across workplace, community and civil disputes. I offer both face to face and online mediation.
I bring a clear vision, a strong collaborative approach, a willingness to address and deal with conflict and disagreement, an ability to inspire and develop others, and a capacity to lead them through change. In mediation, I take a principled negotiation approach based on building up rapport and empathy with participants, encouraging frankness and exploration of underlying interests. I can be very effective in reaching common ground in difficult circumstances. My work in adult mental health meant having to think and act on my feet to quickly build up trust. Containing anxieties and de-escalating situations were the everyday. This means I can help and advise in disputes where mental health issues or more challenging behaviours arise.
I have built on my previous experience of informal mentoring and coaching of colleagues in conflict situations, to become an in-house workplace mediator with Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. Following my training with ACAS in 2018, I have conducted successful mediations for staff within multidisciplinary teams in conflict with each other or with managers, typical examples being bullying/harassment allegations, breakdown of communication, and difficult or unacceptable behaviours.
Society of Mediators accredited mediator training course completed (March 2021)
Trained Schwartz Round Facilitator (2019)- an approach to enabling NHS staff reflect on the emotional impact of their work, including the consequences of workplace conflict (more information is available from the Point of Care Foundation)
In-house NHS Trust workplace mediator training with ACAS (2018)
R&D Leaders Development Programme with Ashridge Business School (2012-2013)- covering relevant skills including negotiation approaches.
23 years’ experience as a consultant psychiatrist (retiring in February 2021), working in a variety of settings in adult mental health across Teesside and County Durham in North East England. I gained expertise in working with people with a wide range of serious mental health problems including personality disorder and psychosis. I was an effective team leader and colleague enabling others to tackle very difficult situations. Containing anxieties, de-escalation, and finding the common ground with people in extreme circumstances were everyday challenges throughout.
- NHS Trust R&D Director (2006 to 2019)
- Head of Mental Health Research Group, Durham University (2007-2014)
- Honorary Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of York (2016-present).
I have extensive experience and expertise in management and leadership, primarily in NHS R&D but with wider experience in operational NHS management, educational leadership, and university management. I led change locally and regionally to embed clinical trials in NHS mental health services, and I took forward NHS-University partnerships to growth and success. I worked with colleagues across NHS organisations regionally to negotiate and reach agreement on joint ways forward to increase access for NHS patients to clinical research, gaining a reputation as the voice of reason at the table. I have an ongoing clinical research contribution at the University of York in clinical trials.