Helen is Professor and Honorary Consultant in Rehabilitation Psychiatry at University College London and Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust in the UK. She leads national and international programmes of research that focus on the assessment of quality of care for people with complex mental health problems and the evaluation of complex interventions for this group. She trained in psychiatry at the Royal Free Hospital in North London and during this time spent a year in Auckland (child psychiatry) and Melbourne (community psychiatry) which influenced her interest in international models of mental health care. She is the National Professional Adviser for mental health rehabilitation services for the hospital registration authority in England and Wales, the Care Quality Commission. She is the immediate past Chair of the Faculty of Rehabilitation and Social Psychiatry of the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Around 20% of people newly diagnosed with psychosis will develop severe and complex problems which lead to lengthy admissions and high support needs on discharge to the community. In the UK, it is estimated that this ‘low volume, high needs’ group absorbs 25-50% of the total health and social care budget assigned for mental health. Despite this, there has been little research to guide clinicians and service planners in the most effective interventions and approaches. The complex psychosis research group at University College London has been attempting to address this evidence gap in recent years through a number of related research programmes. These include the REAL study (Rehabilitation Effectiveness for Activities for Life) which focussed on inpatient mental health rehabilitation services and the QuEST programme (Quality and Effectiveness of Supported tenancies for people with mental health problems) which is investigating specialist mental health supported accommodation services. Results from both will be presented and the implications for practice discussed.
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