A University and an NHS Trust in the West Midlands have signed a new agreement to work together on mental health education and research.
The University of Wolverhampton and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust sealed the agreement at the launch of a new degree qualification.
The MSc/MA in Mental Health is aimed at GPs, trainee GPs, nurses, social workers and other health professionals.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to ensure closer academic and cultural co-operation was signed by Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Recruitment Jane Nelson and Gary Graham, Chief Executive Officer of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, at the launch on Wednesday, 3 October 2012.
Collaborations will include the MSc/MA in Mental Health and related programmes, providing a regionally based course for general practitioners and other health professionals. There will also be opportunities to develop new research.
The initiative is part of wider aims to support primary care mental health services and improve access to care for people with mental health needs in the community.
Professor Linda Lang, Dean of the University’s School of Health and Wellbeing, said: “The pioneering MSc/MA Mental Health is designed to enable practitioners to meet the challenges of vulnerable people with mental health needs, in primary care settings. It will enable students to more effectively diagnose and recognise, manage and appropriately refer patients.”
Gary Graham, Chief Executive of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, said he was proud of the Trust's partnership with the School of Health and Wellbeing.
He said: "This education allows us to use our specialist clinical expertise to improve the patient experience wherever they access mental health services - in this case primary care.
"We want to ensure that a recovery based approach is delivered to service users and by improving knowledge in primary care we believe this can only benefit those suffering with poor mental health.
"We are passionate about ensuring the best mental health provision for service users and we believe this education programme supports our aim by educating clinicians of the future on mental health."
The launch at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park included keynote addresses by Professor David Sallah, Dean of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Teaching Trust, and Dr Steve Cartwright, Managing Director, NHS Dudley and Medical Director, NHS Black Country Cluster.
As part of the MOU, the Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust will contribute to the course development and work with colleagues in the School of Health and Wellbeing to provide access to a range of clinical and professional staff who may act as visiting or honorary lecturers at the University.
Picture caption: Memorandum of Understanding signing between Jane Nelson (Pro Vice Chancellor Student Recruitment) and Gary Graham (Chief Executive of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust).
For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736