Ian qualified as a Mental Health Nurse in 1986 and focused his clinical work for people with long term mental health problems, both in-patient residential services and in the community. During a secondment to the NHS Trent Regional office in Sheffield he completed two large research projects on: advanced mental health nursing practice; and the education needs of prison health care nurses.
On return to NHS clinical services, he gained experience in the organisations strategy department before accepting a promotion to the role of senior manager in a mental health trust with a responsibility for education and development.
He was then approached to take a post with the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) and the Centre for Clinical and Academic Workforce Innovation (CCAWI). He joined the NHS mental health new ways of working team and led the national implementation of the 10 Essential Shared Capabilities and the national Race Equality and Cultural Capability education programmes and other values based practice initiatives. He also worked on organisational development programmes for the national institute on mental health team development (Creating Capable Teams Approach). CCAWI was integrated within the University of Lincoln in 2007 and Ian joined the University on a full time basis in 2009 as a principal lecturer. While at the University he completed national and international projects on; ‘Refocusing the Care Programme Approach’; A learning resource for care coordinators (Department of Health). ‘Essential Capabilities’ a ‘values based’ educational programme for children and young peoples’ services in England (National Children’s Support Service); The National competency toolkit for nurses and midwives in Ireland (National Council for the Development of Nursing and Midwifery in Ireland); ‘Excellence in care and treatment planning’ Bilingual training resources for mental health workers, to support the implementation of mental health legislation in Wales (Welsh Government). As part of the welsh Government project, Ian also contributed to the national Code of Practice for the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010.
He has published research and academic papers in international peer reviewed journals and has spoken at a number of national and international conferences, on educational processes, workforce development and the link between evidence based practice and values based practice.