Keeping the body in mind: for people with psychosis it’s about time! | News and Events

Keeping the body in mind: for people with psychosis it’s about time!

David Shiers

New year, new event – join us to learn about the Lester UK adaptation 2023 update! Register here.

GMMH’s Research & Innovation department is delighted to welcome you to a webinar in the new year, presented by the Mental Health Nursing Research Unit, Dr David Shiers and Dr Benjamin Perry, entitled “Keeping the Body in Mind: for people with psychosis it’s about time!”

This virtual CPD training event about recent updates the Lester UK adaptation will take place on Wednesday 17January 2024 between 1pm and 2pm. You can register for the event here.

Chaired by Robert Griffiths, the event will:

  • Provide a 30-year carer reflection on what a ‘body and mind’ approach is needed from the onset of psychosis and its treatment
  • Don’t just screen, intervene – highlight how cardiovascular and metabolic risks can be identified and managed
  • Describe what’s new in the Lester 2023 update

The Lester Positive Cardiometabolic Health Resource provides healthcare practitioners with a simple assessment and intervention framework to protect the physical health of people with psychosis and schizophrenia.


event details for keeping the body in mind event. CPD webinar from 1pm to 2pm. with dr david shiers and dr benjamin perry


Originally an Australian resource, the Lester resource was adapted for UK use in 2012 by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. It gained support from key Royal Colleges, the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The resource has also featured in NHS England’s Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQuIn) scheme between 2014 and 2019, and the National Clinical Audit of Psychosis (ongoing).

This Lester 2023 update reflects important changes to NICE guidance on assessing and managing cardiovascular risk. Both speakers, Dr David Shiers and Dr Benjamin Perry, are co-authors on this update.

People with severe mental illnesses face health inequalities that can reduce life expectancy by about 15 years. High rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes are key contributors to this gap and yet are potentially preventable. Hence the Lester mantra ‘Don’t just screen, intervene’ to identify and manage cardiometabolic risk factors in a timely way. Careful prescribing support for positive health behaviours and well organised healthcare can make a real difference.  

You can access the intervention framework here. We hope to see you at the event on 17 January, and don’t forget to register!   

Information about our presenters

Dr Benjamin Perry, University of Cambridge

Dr Benjamin Perry, University of Cambridge

Ben is a Higher Trainee in Psychiatry, and Clinical Lecturer based at Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge.

Through his combined clinical academic training, Ben has developed expertise in using observational and genetic epidemiological methods in large datasets to improve our understanding of the cardiometabolic comorbidity of mental disorders. His work on this topic has been published in high-impact general medical and psychiatric journals and has achieved recognition through numerous national and international academic prizes.

Ben was recently invited by David Shiers to join a small team tasked with updating the Lester Cardiometabolic Resource for people with psychotic disorders. During his NIHR-funded clinical PhD Fellowship, Ben developed PsyMetRiC, the first cardiometabolic risk prediction algorithm tailored for young people after psychosis onset, and he is now working hard to ensure PsyMetRiC is available for routine use in clinical practice, both in the UK and internationally.

You can read more about Ben’s work here:

Dr David Shiers, GMMH

Dr David Shiers, GMMH

For David to return to Manchester to address an audience expert in mental health is not only special… its surprising for someone who left medical school here almost 50 years ago to become a GP in Leek.  His daughter’s experience of care for a diagnosis of schizophrenia in the late 90s changed all that.  Two years of local complaints – a put-up or shut-up career change and David found himself jointly leading with Professor Jo Smith England’s Early Intervention in Psychosis Development Programme through the era of the National Service Framework reforms. 

‘Sort of retired” (not by choice) in 2011, tackling the physical health inequalities of people with psychosis remains David’s unfinished business from the early intervention reform.  

As an honorary research consultant for GMMH Psychosis Research Unit, David has led a number of physical health initiatives Another highlight of his last twelve years was to ‘nick’ the Positive Cardiometabolic Health Resource from Jackie Curtis and colleagues in Sydney.  Jackie and David teamed up with the late Professor Helen Lester and other colleagues to develop a UK adaptation The Lester Resource to address the high rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes experienced by people with severe mental illness.   With its mantra ‘Don’t just screen, intervene’ this resource has just been updated ( in a process led by Ben Perry and remains supported by several Royal Colleges, NHSE, and NICE. 

Robert Griffiths, University of Manchester and GMMH

Robert Griffiths, University of Manchester and GMMH

Rob is a Lecturer in Mental Health at the University of Manchester and also holds an honorary position at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH), where he is Director of the Mental Health Nursing Research Unit.

He has a clinical background in Assertive Outreach and Early Intervention in Psychosis mental health services. Rob has worked in a variety of clinical roles in these services, mainly focusing on the delivery of psychological interventions.

Rob is a former HEE/NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow (2016-2019). As part of his PhD in Clinical Psychology, he conducted a feasibility randomised controlled trial of a new talking therapy, called Method of Levels, for people experiencing first-episode psychosis (

Rob’s current research interests are as follows:

  • Improving outcomes for people experiencing first-episode psychosis and their relatives.
  • Developing and evaluating a transdiagnostic approach to cognitive therapy known as Method of Levels.
  • Developing clinical applications of a theory of human behaviour called Perceptual Control Theory.
  • Reducing the use of restrictive practices for children in mental health inpatient settings.

You can read more about Rob’s work here: Robert Griffiths — Research Explorer The University of Manchester.

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

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