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.”
Higher Trainee of the Year - 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 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”.