Alex Penfold on Youth Mental Health Day 2023: Insights from a Mental Health Nurse and...
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I qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1990 and after some years in general nursing I moved into the field of Spinal Injuries, where I have worked since 1993, initially on the Spinal Injuries Unit at Southern General Hospital, Glasgow. In 1998 I moved to the London Spinal Injuries Unit at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, where I was appointed as a Case Manager in the Community Liaison Department. Subsequently, I moved into the private sector, firstly working for Active Assistance as a Nurse Manager.
In 2003, I became Nurse Manager and Director of Spinal Homecare Services, Kendal. The company is a nation-wide specialist provider of care and assistance at home to clients who have sustained a spinal cord injury, and other similar injuries or disabilities. We provide high quality assistance, to enable our clients to live independent and flexible lives. As well as managing the running of the organisation I also case manage packages of care. I assess potential new clients and ensure the packages are set up to ensure appropriate client support is provided. I compile costings and quotations and liaise with funding bodies following initial assessments. I undertake ongoing assessments to ensure any changes required are identified and put in place. This may involve discussions with clients, their families, members of the multi-disciplinary teams and funders to obtain appropriate equipment and/or increases in funding for support packages. I manage, and am involved in recruitment and training of new staff including personal care assistants working with our clients. As a UK top provider of specialist care and assistance our motto “your life your way” is the basis of how the company operates.
I am required to ensure the company remains up to date and implements changes with employment law and regulatory bodies requirements (Care Quality Commission (CQC), Care Inspectorate Scotland). As a company we obtained ISO9001 as part of our commitment to maintaining quality, and we are a member of the UKHCA (United Kingdom Homecare Association). I have been involved in the running and development of the business including maintaining CQC/ Scottish Care Commission and ISO registration. I also continue to be involved with staff development and training including staff attaining diploma’s in care. Our organisation is a NCFE training accredited centre.
When working at the London Spinal Injuries Centre I was involved in the creation (at committee level) of the Case Management Society UK, which is an organisation that offers support to case managers throughout the UK, as well as ensuring the members work to current best practice. I have contributed to a review of the service provision of treatment of patients with spinal cord injury in the south of England, involving the mapping out of service provision across the whole of the south of England.
I joined Somek & Associates in 2003, and have been providing Nursing Care and Case Management reports in cases of clinical negligence and personal injury since then, having been instructed by both Claimant and Defendant. I have undergone training in the medico-legal process and am fully aware of my responsibilities under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to Expert Witnesses.
Royal College of Nurses
Case Management Society UK
Multidisciplinary Association of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals
1990 Registered General Nurse, South College of Nursing, Glasgow