Steering Group

All of the Regional Leads and Service User Leads from the Recovery and Outcomes Groups meet together every quarter after all of the regional Recovery and Outcomes Groups have finished in what is known as the Steering Group. The Steering Group is held in Birmingham from 11am-3pm with refreshments at 10.30am. The meeting hears feedback from all the Regional Leads about how the groups have gone and plans for future meetings.

We also have several sub-groups that are developing other projects such as the My Shared Pathway Main Messages work and the work with the Ministry of Justice. We are hoping to launch a new project called ‘Looking After My Future’ to help develop resources aimed at people who are coming to the end of their stay in secure care and are moving back into the community.

The latest Steering Group minutes can be found here. The current Work Plan can also be found here.

  • Ian Callaghan

    Joint Chair Recovery and Outcomes Steering Group

    I am privileged to be the organiser and facilitator of the Recovery and Outcomes Groups and co-chair with Mick Burns (who doesn’t look as scary in real life!) of the Steering Group. I first became involved with My Shared Pathway during my time as a patient in a medium secure hospital in 2010 and helped to set up the Recovery and Outcomes Groups to support the introduction of My Shared Pathway into secure services.

    As well as this, I’m also a Patient Reviewer for the Quality Network for Forensic Mental Health Services of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which undertakes peer-led reviews of medium and low secure services and also a Patient Representative for the High/Medium and Low Secure Clinical Reference Groups of NHS England (see website for further details!).

    I’m very proud to be one of the judges for the National Service User Awards and I was delighted to be given the Special Mention Award in 2014. While I’m being immodest, I might as well tell you I was the Rethink Mental Illness Member of the Year in 2012.

    Outside of all this, I enjoy art, music, concerts, theatre, travelling and the countryside of Oxfordshire.

    Twitter: @ianmcallaghan


  • Hannah

    Service User Lead - East of England

    Hi, I’m Hannah and I am the Service User Lead for the East of England Recovery and Outcomes Group (ROG). I started attending the groups over 2 years ago now. The meetings are a great place for service users and staff to get together to express their views on how to get the most out of being in secure care and in the least amount of time possible. I feel deeply privileged to be involved with the ROG and also to be part of the Steering Group.

    Working towards recovery from a mental illness is a difficult journey with lots of hurdles along the way, I know all too well from my own experience! Groups like the ROG makes the idea of recovery a reality, shows you easier roads to take to help you along the way and gives you a voice to speak out. Seeing Ian Callahan (also a previous patient ) being the organiser and facilitator of the groups gave me hope and it was the first time I realised that once a patient, NOT always a patient!

    I now work as Patient Reviewer with the Quality Network for Forensic Mental Health Services of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. I also work alongside my local University on their BSC Mental Health Nursing courses teaching from a lived experience point of view. I love singing and have recently learnt to play guitar which is a great coping mechanism from me.


  • Mick Burns

    Joint Chair Recovery and Outcomes Steering Group

    I currently work as a Mental Health Supplier Manager for NHS England and within that role I support the Recovery and Outcomes Steering Groups as Co-Chair with Ian Callaghan. I began working as a nurse in the NHS in 1988, I worked in secure services from 1991 until 2008 when I became a ‘specialised’ commissioner. In the role of commissioner I have been closely involved with the development of ‘involvement’ initiatives within secure care, particularly the Yorkshire and Humber i4i (involvement for improvement) networks and the development of ‘My Shared Pathway’. This is undoubtedly the favourite bit of my job.


  • Mark Chandley

    High Secure Lead

    Mark Chandley PhD, BA(Hon’s) Health Studies , RMN Author of ‘Management of Violence and Aggression: a manual for nurses and health care workers Churchill Livingstone and many other publications. Completed a PhD in socio-temporality and anthropology. He has various publications and over thirty years of high secure experience ranging from the chronically dangerous, conceptual frameworks, hostage negotiation and recovery. He has worked for over ten years for the Association of Psychological Therapies and delivers on many courses there that surround the appropriate management of violence and aggression. His research interests range from ethnography to action research. He is currently reading recovery and researching and practicing in that area. He is a founder of the Ashworth recovery college and an advocate for the understanding of such unique sociological contexts.


  • Gary Thorpe

    High Secure Lead

    Gary Thorpe has been a mental health nurse for twenty years working across a variety of secure mental health settings. His background has been in high dependency nursing and admissions within high secure care, and more recently practice development and neuro rehabilitation at Ashworth Hospital, part of Mersey Care NHS Trust.

    In the last four years Gary has co-led on recovery related projects within high secure, leading on many innovative and national pieces of work, publication contribution, teaching and training. Other work includes the development of the Recovery Star Secure, the integration of recovery into the Care Programme Approach (CPA), development of a high secure recovery college and training of over 300 staff and patients and their families. Gary has been invited to work with other services, both nationally and internationally to share ideas and practice with colleagues and service users developing recovery initiatives within their services. Gary is also the founder member of the Secure Transitional Recovery and Pathways development Group, which brings together over 40 trusts and organisations from secure services from across the country.


  • Sally Gendle

    Corporate Recovery and My Shared Pathway Lead, Cygnet Health Care

    I am a relative newcomer to the world of mental health services – prior to joining Cygnet Health Care just over 4 years ago I worked as a business analyst for a government department in London. One of the elements of the business analyst role is to understand your stakeholders needs, holding onto that principle helped me enormously as I embarked on my role at Cygnet Health Care. Our service users and the people who work in our services are for me our main stakeholders - to do my job well I need to understand their views and the challenges they face.

    I am now an Operations Support Manager for Cygnet , in this role I lead a number of projects that are focussed on service user engagement and involvement. Cygnet have embraced recovery focussed principles of My Shared Pathway and I am responsible for making sure that we have the processes in place to enable our services to be recovery focussed.

    It was this work that allowed me to be co-opted onto the National Recovery and Outcomes Steering Group and I feel privileged to be part of this group. As a member of the steering group I have had the opportunity to learn from others about some of the good things and not so good things that are happening in secure services and also to influence and help shape the direction of services for the future.

    I am a passionate believer in benefits of the regional Recovery and Outcomes groups and attend as many as I can across the regions. The regional groups are a unique opportunity for staff and service users to learn from each other and share best practice. My involvement with the Recovery and Outcomes groups has helped me to understand some of the challenges faced by the people using and working in secure services – and I am ever mindful of this as I carry out my day job.


  • Gayle Woodcock

    Regional Lead - East of England

    Gayle graduated from Anglia Ruskin University with a BA (Hons) in Mental Health Nursing. Since then she has worked in specialist hospital services for adults with Learning Disability, mental health needs and/ or behaviours that challenge. Gayle now holds the position of training and practice development in the Huntercombe Group leading projects in the Care Programme Approach, clinical risk assessment, My Shared Pathway and the implementation of outcome stars across a range of secure and community services. She also holds the lead position for My Shared Pathway for the East of England Region.

    Gayle has presented as a speaker at various events including the National My Shared Pathway conference, BILD positive behaviour support conference and outcome star national events. She was shortlisted as a finalist in the Lang & Buisson independent specialist healthcare awards in 2012 for her work in embedding My Shared Pathway into practice.


  • Louise Bannister

    Regional Lead – East Midlands

    I currently work as a Ward Manager and Recovery Lead at Cygnet Hospital Derby but have experience of working in both male and female secure services over the last 14 years.

    I first became involved in Service User Involvement work as the hospital lead in 2010, supporting service users to attend the i4i and Invovlement Groups within the York and Humber area. I later joined the Shared Pathway Steering Group and Patient Portfolio Working Group and as the Recovery and Outcomes Groups were rolled out nationwide I became the lead for the East Midlands.

    I am also involved in the NDTi (National Development Team for Inclusion) project in the East Midlands working with Clinicians, Service Users and Commissioners to define “what is excellence” in locked rehab services.

    For the 3rd year running I am pleased to able to work with the Service User Events Team to plan and host the National Service User Awards which plays a vital role in ensuring that service users achievements are recognized and also goes some way to reducing the stigma of those currently within secure services.


  • Rachel Kitten

    Regional Lead - London

    I chose to re-train as an Occupational Therapist in 2005 and attended London South Bank University to complete the 2 year Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy. I graduated in 2007 and started working as a Forensic Occupational Therapist for St Andrew's Healthcare. I specialised in working with men with personality disorder and was responsible for co-facilitating the KUF Personality Disorder Awareness Level Training for staff. I then worked for Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and this is where my interest in the Hearing Voices movement developed.

    I started to work for Cygnet Health Care in October 2012 and had the opportunity to work with women in secure care. I had the opportunity to train to co-facilitate a peer support Hearing Voices Group and successfully ran a group at Cygnet Hospital Beckton. This continues to be a passion and I am involved with the London Hearing Voices Network. I also had the opportunity to attend and become involved with the South East Coast and then London ROG Meetings. I have always been Recovery focussed with my practice. Recovery is very much part of the philosophy behind Occupational Therapy. Attending these groups gave me the opportunity to meet Ian Callaghan and he approached me about becoming the Lead for the London ROG Meetings. Since October 2014 I have been working as the Deputy Head Occupational Therapist for Cygnet Wing Blackheath and Cygnet Lodge Lewisham and hold a caseload on the male low secure ward.


  • Michelle Parker

    Regional Lead - North West

    I am the ‘My Shared Pathway and Recovery Lead’ in a medium secure hospital in the north west. I worked on medium secure and low secure wards until 2012 when I took secondment to work on recovery projects, starting with My Shared Pathway.

    I have been involved in a number of projects which bring to life the governments saying of ‘no decision about me, without me’. I operationalized the making of a DVD about best practice in mental health recovery (not an easy talk believe me). We organised and decorated a room at the secure hospital and named it THE RECOVERY HUB. Here we wrote a song called ‘no decision without me’ and did lots of Recovery projects gaining accolade and raising the profile of patients council etc.

    My involvement in Recovery projects has led to my being recognised in 3 national award finals and the people I work with have been recognised in service user achievement awards in 2013 and 2 projects that I nominated were finalists in 2014. One person won the outstanding service user achievement award and the other was about patients chairing their own CPA.

    I was thrilled to be invited to attend the Recovery and outcomes group and I continue to be inspired and proud of the work the group undertakes.


  • Anbu Batumalai

    Regional Lead - South Central

    I am the ‘Recovery and Service User Involvement Lead’ in Priory at Thornford hospital in Newbury, Berkshire. I have done my both bachelors and Master degree in Occupational Therapy in India. I worked as a tutor for around 2 years teaching Occupational Therapy.

    In early 2007, I moved to Singapore to start an Occupational Therapy service in a Singapore Prison. I also worked in the Forensic Mental Health Department at the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore. I came to UK in 2009; I started working in a PICU and Low Secure Personality Disorder unit in Bradford before moving to Thornford Park Hospital to work as Lead Occupational Therapist in 2012.

    I became the Recovery and Service User Involvement lead in Thornford Park from early 2013. I have always been a good advocate for service users role in their care and their role in service development. We are one of the pioneering services to teach business skill to our service users which will help them to start their own business when they move out of hospital.

    The word ‘Recovery’ is very well linked to the philosophy of Occupational Therapy, I am very proud to be running a successful Occupational Therapy Service that has achieved great recognition through its role in service users involvement. I am privileged to be a steering member of National Recovery and Outcome Group and to represent the South Central Region.

    Over the years, we achieved many milestones through this Recovery and Outcome Group. Now it has become a very important, along with the core team that has helped our secure hospitals to improve their standards continuously.

    Regional meetings have become a source for service users and staff to learn about the developments in the area of Forensic Mental health, it helps them to compare their service with other services across the country.


  • Lindi Masilela

    Regional Lead – South West

    I qualified as a Registered Mental Health Nurse in 2004 at The University of The West of England (Bristol). I have worked in Secure Services initially for Partnerships In Care, before joining Cygnet Healthcare in 2006. My experience lies mainly in Women’s services, although I have also led a Male Low Secure Ward.

    Across all the services that I have worked in, I have been and continue to be a Service User Advocate, supporting Recovery and encouraging services to be positive and to challenge any poor practise, always aiming to have a positive impact on the service users that I work with.

    I became the Recovery Lead for Cygnet Hospital Kewstoke in 2012 and the Regional Recovery Lead for the South West Region in 2013. I use this position to influence other people to share my vision of promoting service user rights and constantly strive to improve service user experience. I believe that being detained in Secure Services must be incredibly challenging and as such Services should be committed to making these admissions as positive as possible for both service users and staff.


  • Jane Clark

    Regional Lead - West Midlands

    I have been an OT since 1987, qualifying at London School of Occupational Therapy and then starting my first post at St. Andrews in Northampton. I now work in secure care but over the years I have worked in community mental health, acute inpatient mental health, physical health care and in service redesign, during this time I have held clinical, managerial and lead professional roles.

    My current role is as a Consultant Occupational Therapist with professional responsibility for the Occupational Therapy teams in three medium secure and one low secure unit with a fantastic team of over 40 OT and technical Instructor staff. The consultant role is varied including clinical practice, service development, professional leadership, research and evaluation and education. Clearly there is much prioritising to be done to tackle all aspects of the Consultant OT role and I have to be honest it doesn’t always work in an elegant and smooth fashion. However I feel extremely lucky to be in this role which allows me to work towards supporting and developing opportunities with and for service users to aid their recovery.