Two Manchester clinicians win prestigious North West mental health awards | Awards and accreditations

Awards, Accreditations and Points of Pride

The last two years have been the most challenging in the history of the NHS and we must not underestimate the significant effort that has taken place to respond at pace to the requirements of the pandemic. As the pandemic has progressed, we have seen a rise in the level of mental health needs and acuity and an increasing demand for services and mental health support. Our staff, across all services, both clinical and corporate, have worked tirelessly during the changing demands of the pandemic to adjust, expand and flex the delivery of services to meet the needs of our service users to ensure the least disruption to their care.

We have much to be proud of as an organisation.

  • Living Wage – we have been a Living Wage Employer since 2015 and celebrated our 7-year anniversary in 2022.
  • Vaccination Programme - Through our Gold Command arrangements, we have delivered a comprehensive and speedy vaccination programme to both our staff and service users and have established robust Infection, Prevention and Control arrangements to ensure the safety of all.
  • The Trust’s Recovery Academy , which supports over 7,000 students, returned to face-to-face learning, whilst improving the service by providing access to all the online resources they had built up during the pandemic.
  • The first Green Health Walk opened on the Trust’s Prestwich site , constructed by Sow the City. It was co-designed with service users and staff at the Trust to promote the physical and mental benefits of greenspace and exercise by exploring designated walking routes across our Prestwich site. This innovative approach was proudly exhibited at COP26 - the United Nations Conference of the Parties in Glasgow in autumn 2021. This forms part of GMMH’s Green Plan, which was launched in January 2022 as a ‘blueprint for the next five years’ to support the national NHS net zero pledge.
  • Supported Internship Scheme  - In March 2022, we joined a Supported Internship Scheme which helps young people with learning disabilities to access support, education, and work experience with the goal of progressing into permanent employment. To date, six interns have been placed into roles within their Facilities department in areas such as Catering, Administration, Transport & Logistics and Domestic Services; and one has been offered a permanent position.
  • Breakthrough success of study using virtual reality (VR) to treat mental health problems trialled in Manchester. A national study, delivered by nine NHS Trusts, including GMMH, has found that automated virtual reality (VR) technology can successfully help people recover from mental health problems (April 2022).
  • Workforce - GMMH has been rated ‘Good’ in all areas of our education and training programme for apprentices, following an inspection by Ofsted in May 2022.  
  • Partnership working - A partnership between GMMH, Greater Manchester Police and the North-west Ambulance Service, aimed at improving care for people experiencing a mental health crisis, has been hailed a success. Just six months in (May 2022), over 1,100 cases had been diverted from frontline NWAS and GMP services, with quality NHS mental health support being provided instead.
  • Improving health outcomes for under-served populations - A Research Unit dedicated to researching inequalities in mental and physical healthcare has been launched by GMMH during Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Week (May 2022). The Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Research Unit is funded by GMMH, and led by Professor Dawn Edge, Professor of Mental Health & Inclusivity at GMMH and The University of Manchester.
  • Improving North Manchester – We're investing £105 million in modern facilities with the construction of a new adult mental health inpatient unit to replace Park House on the North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH) site. Work on the North View site started in August 2022 with the new unit anticipated to be built and operational by 2024.The modern facilities will utilise the latest technology and therapeutic design, to ensure an environment that is both conducive to recovery and pleasant to live in, work at and visit. In June 2022, the new development won a Design in Mental Health Award in the ‘Service User Engagement’ category.
  • The Greater Manchester Universities Student Mental Health Service a partnership between GMMH, NHS Greater Manchester, and the region’s five universities - has been hailed a success (July 2022).
  • Achieve - In July 2022, an external evaluation found that the Trust’s Achieve Drug and Alcohol Service’s approach to partnership-working is effective in supporting recovery from substance misuse, and could be rolled out in other geographical areas. Drug and Alcohol Recovery services for Bolton, Bury, Salford and Trafford have been praised in an evaluation report, undertaken by SQW, an independent research and consultancy organisation.  
  • An evaluation of Living Well Salford (15 August 2022) found that the service has supported people to achieve improved outcomes. The service offers support co-designed by people with lived experience of mental health problems and has also been shortlisted for ‘Mental Health Innovation of the Year’ in the prestigious national Health Service Journal awards 2022.
  • CPR training technology In Oct 2022, GMMH became the first mental health trust to install state of the art CPR training technology. The technology, called Brayden Online, combines a traditional mannequin with an iOS application which uses a cloud server, allowing staff to undertake CPR training at a time, date and location that is flexible for them.
  • National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards 2022 - we’ve been recognised in the awards (6 October 2022) for a project run by GMMH using a technology called ‘Management and Supervision Tool’ (MaST) to support clinical care and patient safety in Community Mental Health Teams.
  • Research - We’re proud to be an NHS Partner of a bid for Greater Manchester awarded its largest ever research funding (October 2022) to tackle health inequalities and drive health improvements across the city region. This investment will support the delivery of important research into mental health care and treatment at the Biomedical Research Centre in Manchester. 
  • Ceramicists from our  Recovery Pathways service have contributed to the Manchester City Council’s Be Proud Awards 2022 by creating a series sculptures as prizes for winners.
  • NHS Talking Therapies – during 2020/21, more people than ever accessed talking therapies.  Across Bolton, Salford, Manchester, and Trafford, almost 25,000 people completed a full course of NHS talking therapy.
  • NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award - The award recognises our Trust’s work in international recruitment and our commitment to providing internationally educated nurses and midwives with high-quality pastoral care.

Find out more about awards our staff and teams have received below.

Two Manchester clinicians win prestigious North West mental health awards

Two clinicians from Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) have won awards at the prestigious RCPsych North West Division Awards 2022.

Dr Eleanor Swift, Speciality Trainee Six Doctor (ST6) in General Adult Psychiatry, has been awarded Higher Trainee of the Year; and Dr Aaron McMeekin, Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist, has won the Psychiatric Trainer of the Year Award.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional medical body responsible for setting and raising standards of psychiatry in the United Kingdom and supporting psychiatrists throughout their careers from training through to retirement.

The regional awards recognise the amazing stories of individuals across the North West who have contributed to support mental health care.

Winners were announced at the virtual awards event hosted by Division Chair Dr Nishanth Babu Matthew, and with special lecture from Professor Wendy Burn, on Thursday 24 November.

Alice Seabourne, Medical Director at GMMH said:

“I am delighted that Dr Swift and Dr McMeekin have been recognised at these prestigious regional awards. The hard work and compassion that they demonstrate, day in day out, has clearly had a tangible impact on the lives of both their peers and those in their care.

“Through their work, they are also helping to shape the future of mental health care, which will have a lasting positive impact across Manchester, the North West and beyond.

“Both have significant experience in specialist Perinatal Mental Health services, providing support and treatment to women and their families before, during and after pregnancy. I’d like to particularly thank them for their contribution to this important and rewarding area of mental health care.”

The Winners

Higher Trainee of the Year - Dr Eleanor Swift

Dr Eleanor Swift Dr Eleanor Swift is a Speciality Trainee Six Doctor (ST6) in General Adult Psychiatry at GMMH, currently based at Park House, a mental health inpatient at North Manchester General Hospital. As an ST6, she is in her final year of training before qualifying to work as a Consultant Psychiatrist.

Dr Swift has been described by her colleagues as an asset to any team.  Her compassionate approach with patients has been highlighted particularly.

Dr Swift has been commended for her role as the Less Than Full Time (LTFT) Trainee Representative, providing support and advocacy for peers on LTFT rotas. Dr Swift led an LTFT trainee survey and has driven improvements in the areas highlighted.  She delivered a seminar to peers on LTFT rotas, led on the co-production of a joint working agreement on rota design between LTFTs and HR at GMMH, and helped develop the first LTFT forum.

Dr Swift said:

"I feel really honoured to have won this award which is really testament to the great opportunities I've had during my training. I've worked at GMMH for the vast majority of my training posts and I've been lucky to have had some fantastic trainers who have gone out of their way to help my professional development.

“My post in the Community Perinatal service last year gave me the opportunity to develop clinically in a really supportive multi-disciplinary team, and the guidance I received in my LTFT Representative role provided invaluable leadership experience. Thank you to all the trainers and colleagues who have supported me to this point."

Psychiatric Trainer of the Year – Dr Aaron McMeekin

Dr Aaron McMeekin Dr Aaron McMeekin is a Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist at GMMH, based within the Perinatal Mental Health Service.

Dr McMeekin has been commended for his involvement with Undergraduate Medical Education, which includes leading on Themed Case Discussion and Communication Skills, organising Research Projects and Student Select Components.

Dr McMeekin has presented on the Perinatal MRCPsych NW Regional Academic Course, the Children and Young Persons postgraduate diploma course, the Perinatal mental health masters module (University of Salford) and the Perinatal Mental Health day (Division of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work, University of Manchester). He has sought innovative solutions to medical education in the face of a reduction in trainee hours, adapting courses to virtual environments.

Dr McMeekin has also been part of the development of a Special Interest Educational Fellow role. This Fellowship enables Speciality Trainee Doctors to co-ordinate educational timetables, refresh educational modules and lead on medical student teaching. Feedback has included “Dr McMeekin is a fantastic supervisor. He really makes an effort to include you in the team and you feel valued and supported as a trainee.”

Dr McMeekin said:

“This award reflects the enthusiasm to learn, adaptability to teach and train, and desire to improve mental health, of the trainees and colleagues I have worked with over the past year in GMMH and Greater Manchester. I would like to particularly highlight the GMMH Perinatal and Medical Education undergraduate teams for not only providing excellent opportunities, but also ongoing support, especially when faced with the challenges of the past few years. I hope this award provides the springboard for further GMMH success”.

As a patient

As a service user, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Find resources for carers and service users  Contact the Trust

We place cookies on your computer to help make this website better. You can at any time read our Privacy Policy to find out more. By using this site we will assume that you are happy to continue.

Please choose a setting: