Success for Dumfries health workers

A team of academic staff from the University of the West of Scotland’s Mental Health Nursing team are celebrating a number of successes relating to their contribution to the development of mental health practices and research.

Dr Glenn Marland, vice-chairman of the Mental Health Subject Development Group, has led his team to success which includes the recent publication of the book- Promoting Concordance in Mental Health, which he edited along with colleagues Lisa McNay and Austyn Snowden.

The trio were supported by mental health practitioners and with contributions from other colleagues at UWS including Dumfries based Marie McCaig, Anna Waugh, student nurse Ange Pollard and librarian Douglas Park. They are pleased to present this book as a point of reference for all those involved in working together to make best use of mental health medicines. The book presents a contemporary approach with an emphasis on person-centred care and good practice in medicine management and it promotes liaison, shared decision-making and constructive partnerships with everyone involved.

The book was recently published by Quay Books and is available on Amazon. It is described as being essential reading for all who want to build better therapeutic relationships and achieve better outcomes. It explores the concepts of concordance and compliance and addresses specific challenges which are illustrated using three unfolding scenarios which run through the whole book.

Glenn said: “Promoting Concordance in Mental Health strikes at the heart of recovery-based practice in mental health nursing. For too long now approaches to medicine management particularly, have been derived from the concept of compliance. This book succeeds in showing how through partnership working concordance can be reached and maintained.”

The team will celebrate the launch of this book, along with the forthcoming launch of another publication, The Wee Book of Gems, at a public lecture entitled Promoting Concordance in Mental Health on May 23 at the Dumfries Campus.

This Wee Book of Gems is the result of the sharing of Gems from service-users and carers, during activities to involve service-users and carers in both the selection and the preparation of student mental health nurses. The photographs, art work and poetry have also all been contributed by service-users and carers. This recognises the importance of participation – listening to and learning from service-users and carers. The materials have been collected from service-users and carers from across the five NHS areas linked to UWS. Service-users and carers approached this work with a single aim – to help ensure that their experiences both positive and negative would be used as a rich learning source for the preparation of student mental health nurses. The hope is that this resource will help students prepare for and reflect upon their practice experiences.

Last year Anna Waugh and Jo Oliver from UWS in collaboration with Alzheimer Scotland were awarded a contract to train 100 dementia champions across Scotland by NHS Education Scotland (NES). The success of this project has led to the awarding of a contract this year by NES to train a further 200 dementia champions. This national work builds on the successful local partnership between NHS Dumfries & Galloway, Alzheimer Scotland, User Carer Involvement (UCI) and UWS which established the training of dementia champions locally. This training helps to prepare staff to champion the care of people with dementia during their admission to general hospitals.

Anyone wishing further information regarding these publications or the public lecture on Wednesday, May 23, should call 01387 702075 or email