I trained as a mental health nurse in Warley Hospital, Brentwood, Essex (1983-1986) before moving to Bangor, North Wales in Autum 1986. Once in North Wales, I held a number of clinical appointments in dementia care, including 4 years as a community mental health nurse in a community mental health team for people with dementia in Merionnydd, Gwynedd, before moving into the University of Wales, Bangor in 1993 to pursue teaching and academic qualifications. My Ph.D. was studied part-time (1993-1999) and was focussed on the social construction of dementia as experienced by people with dementia and their families. At Northumbria University I held the first Professorial Chair in dementia care nursing in the UK before moving to The University of Manchester in October 2006 to take up the post of Professor of Older People's Mental Health Nursing, a joint appointment with Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
The Greater Manchester Health Innovation and Education Cluster (GMHIEC) funded ‘Getting to Know Me’ project (2010-2013) has involved people with dementia and carers and developed a 6-hour training resource on dementia for all staff members in acute care settings. To date, over 600 staff across Greater Manchester have been trained and evaluation data has demonstrated increased knowledge and confidence in working with people with dementia. The course and training materials are being promoted across MAHSC of good translational practice and is available for free download