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Promoting Excellence In Psychological Health & Wellbeing

The Official Launch of the PPN KSS

26 Nov

Read more about our Inaugural Conference

The Inaugural Conference of the PPN KSS was held at the Gatwick Airport Hilton Hotel on 9th October 2018.

There was a fantastic turn out and a real buzz, with representation from all the psychological professions, from experts by experience, and a range of key stakeholders from the across region and beyond! This included the Gita Bhutani who chairs the PPN in the North West of England.

The day started with a series of addresses:

  • Alice Plummer (Clinical Programme Manager, PPN KSS) set the scene and context, followed by Adrian Whittington (Chair, PPN KSS) who highlighted the purpose of the PPN; how we aim to maximise the benefits of the psychological professions to the public, have a stronger strategic voice together, and, how the PPN is a unique conduit to join up policy and workforce planners, service users and carers with the psychological professions workforce. 
  • Dave Hearn (Deputy Head of Transformation) from the PPN’s sponsoring body, Health Education England (working across KSS) used the analogy of a social movement and the ‘dancing guy,’ who stands up all on his own and is eventually followed by another, and another. So the PPN started five years ago in the North West of England, and is now gathering momentum here across KSS, and the more join, the more it will grow into a thriving community of practice.
  • Sam Allen (Chair of the NHS Health and Care Women Leaders Network, and CEO of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust) highlighted that the launch of this network was truly a historic day for Gatwick Airport (an online search had not revealed any important event so far!)  -   where so many professions and stakeholders are joining forces for the first time. Sam encouraged leadership across the whole workforce, and the importance of collaboration and partnership working.

Our keynote speaker was Byron Lee (Director of Added Value Learning, and co-designer/ facilitator of the King’s Fund Compassionate Leadership through Mindfulness Programme), who gave an inspiring talk on compassionate and collective leadership. This includes trust, sharing power and learning from one another, where leadership is a collaborative effort that is inclusive of different perspectives, and not just about formal leadership roles. You can view the full keynote speech here.

The reflective plenary sessions were very skilfully facilitated by Mary John and Graham Lee, both Systemic Family Therapists. They were joined by a range of psychological professionals and experts by experience, to reflect together on the themes of the keynote speech, and then together with the audience as a whole.

The PPN KSS Projects were launched in seven parallel, interactive workshops, with much appreciated support from Psychology Graduates and Assistant Psychologists:

  • Creating a career map in the psychological professions
  • Developing leadership in the psychological professions
  • Forming evidence into practice partnerships
  • Promoting psychological practice in physical healthcare
  • Exploring the contribution of psychological professions to promoting wellbeing in communities
  • Promoting the value of consultative work
  • Forming an identity together as psychological professionals

There was a lot of buzz, enthusiasm and participation around these themes, and how we move forward on these projects together. You can read more about the PPN KSS project work here. Please note that you can still register your interest in getting involved by contacting us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The final plenary session culminated in a key message from each workshop, and a deeply touching address from our keynote listener, Helen Leigh-Phippard. Helen has kindly written a blog for us, and you can read more about her address here.

Linking to the identity project, we asked all delegates what they think psychological professionals have in common in terms of shared values, beliefs and purpose. We converted these ideas into this word cloud:

We concluded the conference with an invitation to make a pledge about what action delegates would like to take forward from the day. For those of you who left your contact details, we will be in touch in January to see how you’re getting on with your pledges!

Feedback from delegates indicated that the input from experts by experience was greatly appreciated, that they were “brilliant speakers” and that it would be great to have service-user led workshops at future events. The opportunity to network and meet colleagues from different professions was also a key theme. What was highlighted as most helpful in removing barriers for conversations was that the name badges did not include any job titles.

Thank you to all those involved in the conference in any capacity, whether you attended as a delegate or were actively involved as a speaker, in the reflective plenary sessions or by convening a workshop, whether you helped organise and support the day, and everything else in between! All your contributions are very welcome!

We will be updating our website with materials from the day soon, so watch this space!

Please do get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with further feedback, comments or ideas (also for future events), or if you would just like to share your memories of the day! We would very much like to hear from you.

And, last not least, please spread the word and invite colleagues to join this free membership network by visiting

Alice Plummer, Clinical Programme Manager

Eloise Tierney, Research Assistant

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