Mental Health Nursing Research Unit

Mental Health Nursing Research Unit

Are you a nurse who wants to learn more about research?   Or maybe you are a nurse who wants to try and incorporate research activity into your role in Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH)? GMMH’s Mental Health Nursing Research Unit (MHNRU) aims to build research capacity amongst the nursing workforce.


The MHNRU was established in 2020. We aim to conduct research that improves the health and wellbeing of people using mental health services and their families. We also aim to advance the practice of mental health nursing. The research unit is led by Dr Robert Griffiths (Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Manchester, Director MHNRU) and Ali Dawber (Clinical Research Fellow in Mental Health Nursing, Deputy Director MHNRU) in collaboration with Professor Karina Lovell and Professor John Keady, who are both based at the University of Manchester.


Since it was established, the research unit has created several posts for clinical staff within the Trust who are interested in incorporating research activity into their roles. These opportunities have been developed to support practitioners who are interested in pursuing clinical-academic careers. We are particularly interested in advancing the research careers of mental health nurses and addressing barriers that have previously limited opportunities for this staff group to contribute to clinical research. We are also keen to support the development of Allied Health Professional colleagues who wish to pursue clinical-academic careers.


The MHNRU is currently delivering a National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) study called “Care Coordinator Delivered Method of Levels (MOL) to Improve Engagement and other Outcomes in Psychosis” (or “CAMEO” for short). It aims to establish the feasibility of recruiting and retaining participants (care coordinators and service users) in a cluster-random control trial (RCT).  The trial recruits from Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) teams across three Trusts (GMMH, Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust, and Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust).  MOL is a psychological intervention that aims to help people resolve distressing problems and regain control over important aspects of their life. MOL an approach to working therapeutically with service-users that is designed to be used flexibly within a care coordinator’s current role. The CAMEO trial aims to compare the effects of MOL-trained care coordinators in addition to treatment as usual to treatment as usual alone on outcomes (engagement and recovery) for people experiencing first episode psychosis.


Another project that the MHNRU is involved in is “Studying Potential Alternatives to Restrictive inpatient practices for Children who Self-harm” (or “SPARCS” for short). This project aims to explore the experiences of children, parents, and staff regarding the issue of self-harm carried out by children in inpatient settings. We are also aiming to understand more about how children who self-harm would like inpatient staff to respond in these situations.


Patient and public involvement (PPI) is central to the work of the MHNRU. We are committed to ensuring that the perspectives of service users, relatives, and carers are represented at all stages of the research process. We actively seek opportunities for people with lived experience of using mental health services to contribute to designing and conducting research.


We are also building networks with national and international researchers and institutions who share our goal of producing high quality research that improves outcomes for people using mental health services.


Please get in touch you have any questions about the work of the MHNRU or would like to be added to our mailing list for news and events.

You can find us on twitter at @MHNRU_ or email us at

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