My name is Jonathan Lanham-Cook. I am a Mental Health Nurse Consultant and I work in a busy GP Surgery in South Gloucestershire, about five or six miles north of the Bristol city centre.
I trained as a mental health nurse just over twenty years ago, having worked for about two years in the voluntary sector.
I have a Specialist Community Practice degree and am registered as Specialist Community Mental Health Practitioner on the NMC register.
I have a postgraduate diploma in cognitive behavioural therapy and was one of the early CBT practitioners working for ‘Improving Access to Therapies’, for a local psychology service in South Gloucestershire. I am also a Non Medical Prescriber and … I also have a diagnosis of ADHD (diagnosed in 2013).
The majority of my work in mental health has been in the community and my area of special interest has always been primary care mental health. I believe passionately that primary care settings are where the work around mental health provision needs to be focused.
My current role is very unusual (possibly unique) in that I was brought in to the surgery to replace a GP and in many ways work as a GP would in seeing patients from the surgery, to help support them with their mental health issues – this involves a variety of brief interventions, often I will prescribe or draw on CBT strategies to achieve this: also, signposting is a significant part of the role.
This service has recently been acknowledged by the CQC, who found our service to be Outstanding and cited my role, working with mental health, as an important factor in this decision … we’re doing something right.
In 2014 I attended the UKAAN 2 day Training for Assessment, Diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in adults. This has developed in me a firm conviction that these things could and should be addressed in a primary care setting and that the only thing stopping this happening currently is a misunderstanding of what ADHD is, what the consequences of it are and how easy it would be to treat and manage if we had a more open and informative approach to it within primary care. My ‘mission’ is to, in some small way, ensure that this happens: There is work to be done.