Ahead of International Nurses Day on 12 May, specialist healthcare provider, Ludlow Street Healthcare, has announced the appointment of a new nurse consultant to lead a team of mental health nurses.

Dave Chapman has joined the team at Heatherwood Court as nurse consultant, an Approved Clinician specialising in mental health disorders, becoming one of only a handful of Approved Clinicians in the whole of England and Wales.

Approved Clinicians are qualified nurses who have specialised in a chosen area of practice and take on some of the responsibilities which would previously have been the reserve of doctors, psychiatrists, and consultants. The responsible clinician is the person with overall responsibility for a patient’s treatment in that area.

In his new position, Dave has taken over responsibility for the care and treatment of a group of patients, taking on a role usually filled by a psychiatrist.

Dave said: “This is a big step up from my previous role. The biggest change for me is how much of a leadership role I now have and my ability to make a difference not just to patients but for staff on the ward as well. I actively contribute to the continuing programme of service level improvements here at Heatherwood Court.

“I actually qualified as an Approved Clinician in my previous job but, despite allowing me to do the training, my last employer didn’t have a role for me. When I spoke to Ludlow Street Healthcare about the possibility of developing this new role with them, they were incredibly positive from the outset.”

This new appointment underlines Ludlow Street Healthcare’s commitment to giving their nurses tangible development opportunities and a career pathway that offer their nurses a variety of choices in how they progress their career.

Jane Watkins, Founder and Deputy Chair of Ludlow Street Healthcare, said: “We are really pleased to welcome someone of Dave’s calibre to the Ludlow Street Healthcare team. We are always on the lookout for talented, driven mental health professionals and someone like Dave, who has a proven track record of excellence in his field, is a perfect fit.

“At Ludlow Street Healthcare we pride ourselves on the support that we offer our staff. When we tell them we will help them to succeed, we really mean it and Dave is a case in point. Mental health nursing is a challenging but incredibly rewarding profession and if we can help our staff progress, we will.”

Heatherwood Court is a low security hospital offering treatment and rehabilitation for men and women on a forensic mental health care pathway.

The hospital is one of the specialist services in the Ludlow Street Healthcare Group which provides care for adults over the age of 18 with complex mental health problems, autism, learning disabilities and neuropsychiatric conditions including dementia and acquired brain injuries.

Set up in 2005 by healthcare specialists, Ludlow Street Healthcare provides transition-focused healthcare and bespoke step-down services, including specialist assessment, treatment, rehabilitation, and education, throughout Wales and the South West of England. The organisation has developed a reputation for its person-centred approach, community-focused settings and specialist staff.

Since its inception, Ludlow Street Healthcare has supported and cared for over 800 people. For over a decade, it has worked in partnership with the NHS, developing services and investing in the necessary health infrastructure and staff training, to support patients on their journey to recovery and a more independent and fulfilling life, through step-down to community living – improving social integration and inclusion.