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Promoting Excellence In Psychological Health & Wellbeing

Reflections from Helen-Leigh Phippard

02 Mar

Service User Consultant

I’ve been involved in the PPN KSS since its inception and, looking back over the past few years, I can’t help but be impressed at how far it’s come. I remember those early days well, when we weren’t sure how many people would join us, given that so many of you already had professional bodies and such busy working lives.  And I also recall many hours in meetings thinking hard about purpose and vision, what was the PPN KSS going to do, what did we want our central purpose to be.

A few years on and our membership has grown enormously, so we know that psychological professionals have bought into the idea that we have something to offer in bringing all the psychological professions together. We’ve delivered on many of the projects that we started up in that first year. We’re about to launch the career map, which is a fabulous piece of work that came out of all that thinking and talking in that first year. The PPsInAction project is well underway which is working again on the idea of bringing all the psychological professions together.

But for me personally the project that has resonated the most with me recently was the launch of the PWP Sub-network. Why? Because this is where the psychological professionals involved are closest to service delivery in significant numbers – most service users I know have had contact with it at some point. And although PWPs are a huge part of the workforce it always seems to me that they are vastly underrepresented at conferences, meetings, events for psychological professionals, I imagine because they can’t be released from the workplace or they aren’t deemed worthy in the workplace hierarchy of release to attend. I am so pleased that the PPN is giving PWPs a place to be seen and heard, and I’m very happy that they have seized upon the opportunity it offers to create their own Subnetwork. And the launch was a lovely day, especially when we had a baby at the podium. All conferences and events should have babies present, their presence has such a humanising effect.

For me, working with PPN KSS has been a wonderful opportunity and also a challenge at times. I even travelled to Manchester (my birthplace but somewhere I haven’t visited in many years) to meet PPN NW colleagues and speak at their conference last November, which was a great experience. It seems to me now that PPN KSS is very well grounded and can only flourish, provided it continues to be funded and supported by HEE KSS.

Having said that, the one area where we have struggled and continue to flounder, is in creating a larger group or network of expert by experience (EBE) stakeholders. We have recently put together an EBE strategy but we need to move beyond this and really create genuine engagement between psychological professionals within PPN KSS and EBEs, not just the 3 EBEs who sit on the PPN KSS Steering Group.


Helen-Leigh Phippard 

Service User Consultant 

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