Watch the video to find out who has won this prestigious nursing award. Good luck to all the finalists!


The finalists for the Mental Health Nursing Award

Ardenleigh womens secure blended service
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Interim clinical nurse manager Emma Watts has led the introduction of trauma-informed care in womens secure services. She developed e-learning and face-to-face training, including a multidisciplinary team and patients, to improve understanding of how everyday interactions are affected by historical traumatic experiences. There are self-care boxes on wards that staff can use to role-play coping strategies for service users. Nurse-led mini debriefs for staff and service users prioritise well-being and learning. Independent evaluation has been positive. Patients feel they are treated with kindness and compassion while staff feel empowered to make changes and that the impact of working with challenging patients is recognised and supported.


Geoff Brennan
Star Wards

Mr Brennan is committed to eliminating restraint and restrictive practices used on inpatients with mental ill health or learning disabilities throughout the UK and across the world. He inspires and encourages the use of other ways to minimise aggression and challenging behaviour while promoting safety and maintaining personal dignity for people who are in crisis on acute inpatient wards. Over the past 30 years he has created carers groups and benchmarks, delivered projects and research, undertaken inspections and chaired acute care forums. He is executive director for Star Wards part of social justice charity Bright providing practical ideas and sharing examples from and for mental health ward staff.


Euan Hails
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Euan Hails developed training so child and adolescent mental health nurses can make young people and their families a full partner in identifying problems and creating treatment plans that inform their journey from initial assessment. The consultant nurse went on to develop and deliver an 18-month psychological therapy training course for nurses, including monthly supervision. The initiative has improved young peoples access to psychological therapies and reduced waiting lists. Nurses trained so far report that their knowledge and skills have increased and they are confident in using them in their practice. The initiative has been adopted by two other Welsh health boards and Welsh mental health charity Hafal.


Positive and safe care team
Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Amid concerns about the level of restraint used at their trust, this team developed the Talk 1st programme. It leads all wards and some community services to develop their own strategies to reduce violence and aggression, with follow-up support to implement them. It also models co-production and multidisciplinary collaboration to find creative solutions in different settings including CAMHS, forensic, learning disability and general psychiatry. Since it started in 2016, the initiative has seen restraint reduced by 23%, prone restraint reduced by 38% and a nearly 21% reduction in the use of mechanical restraint equipment. The use of seclusion is down 35% and assaults on staff have fallen 18%.


We can talk
Healthy Teen Minds

This team of nurses and young people with lived experience has developed and delivers innovative training to hospital staff to improve the experience and outcomes for children and young people attending hospital in mental health crisis following self-harm or attempted suicide. The training has been delivered to more than 2,000 staff across England, with the overwhelming majority reporting improved knowledge and confidence, and 99% saying it would change their practice. Trusts have reported a reduction in the number of risk incidents where previously they had been routine and improved management of children and young people waiting for mental health assessments.