Florence Nightingale Foundation sends Clair to New Zealand

Date published: 14 May 2014

A mental health service lead is on a research scholarship to New Zealand to learn about innovative techniques for Mental Health Crisis Interventions.

Clair Carson, Acute Service Line Manager for Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust’s North Division mental health services covering  Rochdale, Bury and Oldham is on a Florence Nightingale Scholarship.

She will learn how service users with mental health issues are managed within an Accident and Emergency (A&E) setting using advanced techniques such as sensory modulation, with the hope of applying the same methods here in the UK.

New Zealand has an innovative nurse led approach to their crisis and A &E pathway which Clair believes could possibly be adapted and applied to Pennine Care’s RAID scheme.

Pennine Care’s RAID (Rapid Assessment Interface and Discharge) is a service working in A and E departments which involves experienced mental health workers assessing patients who present in a mental health crisis and signposting them to the next appropriate step in the pathway.

Clair said: “The trip is a three week funded scholarship from the Florence nightingale foundation to examine how mental health services manage patients in a crisis in New Zealand.

“The services in New Zealand are using an emerging technique in mental health called sensory modulation in their pathway with early results showing lowered use of aggression and incidents of restraint.

“I hope the trip can enable the ongoing research of such management techniques back here in Pennine Care through my ongoing PhD studies.”

Clair will be working with teams in the Western Health Board of New Zealand in particular the North Shore teams, as well as a placement in Dunedin in the South island to examine inter-country comparisons.

The aim is to ensure people can receive the right support quickly and prevent distressing situations escalating.

Clair also hopes to examine a nurse-led role based in the Community Crisis teams in New Zealand that and is designed to be used to implement the Mental Health Act in that country.

She believes their procedures and techniques could add value to the management of service users, on A& E and the acute wards in the UK, who may require the same level of input.

The Florence Nightingale Foundation supports nurses and midwives with scholarships as well as mentoring and giving recognition to individual nurses. They raise vital funds to support nurses allowing them to study at home and abroad in order to improve patient care and meet changing needs. The foundation hopes to continue the work of Florence Nightingale by equipping senior nurses and midwives with the confidence to represent their profession at the top levels of our health system. 

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