Thursday, 14 June 2018

Practitioner Wellbeing and Self-care Conference

Amidst ever increasing demands for health and social care services, many of us as practitioners have become increasingly aware of the need for collegial support, self-care and how important it is to try to preserve our own wellbeing both at work and in out personal lives. On the 14th June 2018, we are gathering at Manchester Metropolitan University for a one day conference bringing together people from across the health and social care sector who have been exploring ways in which we can support ourselves and each other in our practice. A series of speakers will offer their experiences and findings to delegates through lectures and practical workshops, with the aim of providing new ideas and insights into how we can embrace a more compassionate framework for practice that recognises and addresses the emotional needs of practitioners.

- Lunch will be provided on the day -

Please see the full programme below and Register HERE

09:00am- 10:00am BR Atrium - Ground Floor, BR G.29

10:00-10:30am Welcome BR G.29 – Dr Sarah Parry

10:30am- 11:15am 1st speaker BR G.29 – KEYNOTE Dr Mary Welford  - Amplifiers and Inhibitors of Compassion . Dr Mary Welford is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist based in the South West of England. She is a founding member of the Compassionate Mind Foundation who’s aims are to promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion and was Chair for a four year term. Mary authored The Compassionate Mind Approach to Building Your Self Confidence in 2012 and Compassion Focused Therapy for Dummies in 2016.

11:15-11:45pm 2nd speaker BR G.29 – Dr Judith Johnson - How healthcare staff wellbeing and burnout affect patient care, and what we can do about it.  Rising levels of burnout and poor wellbeing in healthcare staff are an international concern for health systems. In the UK, the proportion of staff feeling unwell due to work-related stress has risen from 28% in 2008 to 37% in 2016, and double the number of NHS staff left due to poor work-life balance in 2015 compared with 2011. This talk will discuss the impact of heightened staff stress on the healthcare service, with particular reference to recent research identifying a link between higher staff burnout and poorer patient safety. It will also consider potential interventions for improving staff wellbeing. The distinction between systemic (or organisation-directed) and individual-level (or person-directed) interventions will be outlined, and recent data from pilot interventions will be presented.

Biography: Judith Johnson is a Clinical Psychologist who is based at both the School of Psychology, University of Leeds, and the Bradford Institute for Health Research. Judith’s research is focused upon understanding and supporting the development of wellbeing and resilience, and how this can be applied in healthcare settings to improve treatments and service delivery. Judith is particularly interested in investigating the role of wellbeing and resilience in supporting NHS staff performance.

Morning break

12:15-1:00pm Workshops:
Workshop 1: BR G.29 – Dr Hannah Wilson and Dr Ciara Joyce – The Imperfect Self in Practice 
This workshop will explore some of the different ways in which we can all recognise the tendency to be self-critical, and how this may help us in our lives. We will then consider how developing a more self-compassionate approach might better support us to achieve our goals. The workshop will include experiential exercises and practices, such as recognising your own critic and any fears you may have of being less self-critical. There will be no expectation or pressure for you to share any of your reflections or learning (although there will be space to if you would like to).


Hannah Wilson is a qualified clinical psychologist, who works in both the public and private sector. She also recently completed a postgraduate diploma in Compassion Focused Therapy. Hannah has a particular interest in promoting staff wellbeing, and applying compassionate practices as a self-care framework.
Ciara Joyce is a clinical psychologist, who is working across private and public health care services in Ireland. She has a keen interest in compassion focused approaches to understanding mental health and is currently enjoying the challenge of practicing and promoting these during the first year of her post-qualified life.

Workshop 2: G.16 – Estephanie Dunn, Royal College of Nursing, Regional Director for the NW Region 
Workshop 3: G.17 – Dr Paul Flaxman – Acceptance and Commitment around Personal and Professional Needs . Paul will provide delegates with an overview of a workplace personal resilience training programme that is based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). The session will include: insights into the basic structure and format of the programme; examples of specific exercises used to enhance clarification of personal values and cognitive defusion; and a summary of research evaluating the effects of this type of training on employees’ psychological health.


Dr. Paul Flaxman is a Reader in organisational psychology at City, University of London. Since 2001, Paul has taken a prominent role in developing and evaluating ACT for staff in healthcare settings, local and central government organisations, and most recently for improving school teachers’ well-being. His latest ACT-based training protocol has been adopted by staff support practitioners across the UK, and also in Canada, the US, Australia, and Uganda. Paul’s ACT intervention research has been published in leading applied psychology journals including Behaviour Research and Therapy, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, British Journal of Clinical Psychology, and Behavior Therapy.

Lunch and poster exhibition (Spanish Steps and BR Atrium)

2:15-2:45pm 3rd speaker BR G.29 - Dr Duncan Shrewsbury – : What’s Up Doc? Lessons learned from working on wellbeing in general practice
In this talk, Duncan will explore some of the issues affecting practitioner health and wellbeing in the context of the UK National Health Service, drawing on particular experience of working in and with general practitioners.
Using the work of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ national trainees (‘AiT’) committee as a case study, Duncan will draw out key barriers to culture change, and lessons learned to inform future work.


Duncan Shrewsbury is an academic GP, and was formerly the chair of the RCGP national trainees (‘AiT’) committee. His academic work focuses on trainees in difficulty, dyslexia in medical education, and trainee mental health. He has worked with regional and national organisations to help develop strategies to improve practitioner wellbeing and support, with particular experience in developing mentoring and peer support within healthcare organisations.

2:45-3:45pm     4th Speaker -  AMANDA SUPER - BR G.29 – Enhancing Practitioner Wellbeing through Self-Compassion”
This workshop will cover the context of the times we find ourselves in and the impact of this on us as Practitioners, an overview of self-compassion, the benefits of self-compassion and making a start on the journey towards self-compassion as Practitioners with an opportunity for reflection, discussion and identifying next steps.

Afternoon break

3:45-4:45pm Workshops: Workshop 1: BR G.29 - Dr Duncan Shrewsbury - Embedding practices in the workplace and instigating cultural change
This interactive workshop will draw on lessons learned from initiatives that have been developed to address wellbeing in general practice and other professions to explore ways of influencing cultural change and embedding practices to improve wellbeing and self-care.
Participants will have the opportunity to experiment with resources used, explore their own professional contexts, and contribute to the development of ideas, approaches and tools to catalyse initiatives in their own workplace.

Workshop 2: G.16 – Dr Kirsten Atherton – Developing a Compassionate Self-Narrative in Practice  - This workshop will utilise both Compassionate Mind and Narrative approaches to help attendees develop a more compassionate self-narrative. The primary aim of this will be to aid attendees’ self -care but strategies and approaches will be appropriate to transfer to clinical and organisational scenarios.

Workshop 3: G.17 – Dr Anthony Priest of Summit Health and Wellbeing Limited  

In this talk, Anthony and Aled will showcase some of the work they have been developing and implementing with employers including the effective use of interactive digital platforms to enhance health and wellbeing practice and culture. This interactive session will allow delegates to experience ‘the lifestyle academy’, an online employee health and wellbeing portal that allows workplaces to access a multifunctional online space to inspire health improvement activities.
Summit will draw best practice learning from case studies and ongoing work where workplace culture has changed through effective interventions.


Anthony Priest and Aled Walker are co-founders of health promotion company Summit Health and Wellbeing. They’re work for over eight years has focused on health improvement strategies and interventions for wide ranging populations including children and young people, clinical populations (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease), disadvantaged people, unemployed adults and employers. Using a range of expertise developed through a number of health improvement roles, including developing health and wellbeing policy and delivering of a number of nationally recognised health improvement programmes the team inspire change through strategic approaches, practical delivery and by using new online technologies.

4:45-5:00pm Plenary and Close BR G.29
5:00-6:30pm Optional Compassion Focused Practice - Research Network Meeting BR G.29

Impediments to self-care & wellbeing at work- Is compassionate leadership an answer.
There are strong links between staff well-being and quality of care. Boorman (2009) report highlighted that organisations prioritising staff wellbeing show improved patient satisfaction and better outcomes. Poor levels of health-care staff wellbeing are linked with low levels of staff retention, burnout and higher rates of sickness absence. We know about barrier to compassionate care and how they compromise quality and performance. (Francis Report, 2013). There is increased acknowledgement of workforce wellbeing in recent years. Current health and wellbeing support to NHS organizations is now extended to include good practice in the management of mental health in the workplace, and provision of occupational mental health expertise and effective workplace interventions. BUT THERE IS MORE TO BE DONE. Mental health problems are forcing thousands in UK out of work (Thriving at Work, 2017). About 300,000 people with a long-term mental health problem lose their jobs each year. The annual cost to the UK economy of poor mental health are put at up to £99bn, of which about £42bn is borne by employers.
The workshop will look at the critical role compassionate leadership can play in taking wellbeing seriously; what are the barriers to cultivate a culture where self care is a MUST DO and not seen as indulgence; how leaders brings a curious stance to what matters to people, what they feel concerned about, and how the culture of trust and joint responsibility can be built so that it is everyone who can play a role in creating healthy work cultures. It will consider barriers to wellbeing at work and need to go deeper to address them. Contributions from the workshop will be taken forward in the evening research network to consider next steps for collaboration on compassionate work practices.

Dr Amra S Rao is Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Organizational Coach. She has been involved in developing and leading psychological services for over 20 years. She is the chair of DCP Leadership & Management Faculty and co- chair of DCP Workforce Wellbeing partnership project with New Savoy Conference. She offers organisational consultancy to teams and organisations both in the public and private sector in UK and internationally.

Event contact M Lungo ·

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