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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together
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Michael Adams

I qualified as a nurse in 1995 after training at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and then worked for several years at Selly Oak Hospital in general and respiratory medicine.

Since late 2004 I have been working at Birmingham City University in various roles as an Adult Nurse Lecturer but also spending several years focussing on practice learning and student placements. It was in these placement roles where I began to find out more about the work of the Trust and got to know several members of the organisation specifically from the education team.  I was always impressed by the absolute commitment to student learning whilst keeping the needs of the service user as the prime focus.

Supporting students in placement comes with its challenges, especially in a pressurised environment such as the NHS, but I would like to think that I have always maintained a good working relationship with colleagues in the Trust; advocating on both theirs and students behalf at various times in a fair and open manner.
For the last two years I have been in the post of Associate Head of School for Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Professions. I support the Head of School in leading the overall academic provision supporting around 5000 students per year which involves responsibility for quality enhancement, staff development and the management of various projects.

As part of this role I was recently asked to become the University’s representative as a stakeholder Governor. I was not really aware of what this would involve but so far I have found it to be an interesting and rewarding group to be part of. The way in which the Trust clearly takes the position of the Governor seriously is extremely positive and I have been left in no doubt that our role is to try to help enhance the organisation where we can.

This opportunity has also come after a time during which I have supported a family member through a period of mental health illness and so I am aware of the importance and support offered by NHS services. I will always remember and be appreciative of the support and advice offered to my family by a Mental Health nurse during this time. The value of a calming and kind word of support at times when there seems no way forward should never be underestimated.

My aim moving forward therefore is to support the Trust in any way I can which might support staff in delivering excellent care and raising the profile of the work of the Trust and mental health issues in general.  I get a real sense of community within the organisation and having already attended a couple of events where I have met staff and service users which have been really positive experiences, I am also  keen to use my links at BCU to help raise awareness around mental health issues in the Birmingham area.

I am really looking forward to continuing in the role, hopefully meeting more people and gaining a greater understanding of the work of the Trust.

Michael Adams, Governor