Following completion of a degree in psychology at Leeds University in 1992, I completed my training on the joint course (Learning Disability Nursing / Diploma in Social Work) at University of Portsmouth in 1996. Following a period managing a team in Day Services I worked as a specialist LD nurse in a secure unit before moving into care management (mental health / learning disabilities) and work with asylum seekers. From 2000, I have worked as a community forensic social worker and senior practitioner within court diversion schemes, providing prison-in-reach and criminal justice support for mentally disordered offenders. During this time I completed PQ training in Mental Health, secured a 2nd degree in Approved Social Work Practice and trained as an Approved Social Worker. I also have an MA (Hons) in Learning and Teaching.

I commenced as a Senior Lecturer at Portsmouth University in 2007; my teaching included running the BA European Social Work programme, Fitness for Practice, Law and Mental Health modules. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have secured further teaching qualifications. I also provide teaching for the Msc and Bsc Social Work Programmes and provide training to other disciplines including health care professionals. Since 2009 I have gone part-time as an Associate Senior Lecturer and I currently remain in practice as an Approved Mental Health Professional with Hampshire County and Portsmouth City Councils. I work across secure forensic settings, providing freelance work as an independent social worker for Mental Health Tribunal Hearings and associated criminal justice agencies.

I also work for the Health Professions Council as a Visitor, approving and validating social work and health professions course programmes. I also work with the Health Professions Council on their Fitness to Practice Conduct Panel Hearings.

Research interests

My research interests include the areas of forensic mental health law, discrimination within mental health services for minority ethnic groups, adult safeguarding, public protection, better outcomes for mentally disordered offenders, adults with learning disabilities, and complex risk assessment. Currently I am reviewing the theory to practice bridge between social work teaching and practice in order to provide improved outcomes for social work training arising as a result of the Social Work Task Force Review.