Dr Helen Crimlisk Deputy Medical Director

Organisation: Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust/Sheffield University

Location: Yorkshire and the Humber

Fellowship(s):
  • GenerationQ
  • 5
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About me

Helen is a GenerationQ Fellow, and Consultant Psychiatrist and Deputy Medical Director at Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSC) and Director of Undergraduate Psychiatry in association with the University of Sheffield.

Helen trained at Guy’s Hospital Medical School, undertook psychiatry training at the Maudsley Hospital and completed her training in Sheffield after a career break abroad. 

She has a clinical background in liaison and community adult psychiatry, and interests in ADHD and transition. She has led developments on physical health, personalisation and youth mental health in association with the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

In her role as Deputy Medical Director at SHSC, she leads on quality improvement in association with the Sheffield Microsystems Academy and is passionate about the use of co-production as a means for improving the experience of the people who use services. She is working on developing local initiatives such as the recovery-focused Transition Group, which has recently won a Positive Practice Award for patient engagement, and initiatives which will work with local third sector groups Recovery Enterprises, Sheffield Flourish and Chilipep. These will be based on innovative ways of enhancing peer support and valuing those with lived experience of mental Illness to support others.

She also believes that there needs to be more emphasis placed on supporting staff in the workplace and is involved in projects on health coaching, collaborative care planning and leadership.

In her role as Director of Undergraduate Psychiatry she is keen to develop the undergraduate experience in psychiatry to better prepare students for their clinical roles in the future, whatever specialty they choose, and to reduce stigmatisation of psychiatry within medical education. She is keen to support students to be able to work in ways in line with the direction of travel in the NHS: towards more focus on prevention, community delivery of services, focus on self management and recognition of the importance of social accountability.

She has introduced service user led elements to the teaching programme such as the Storying Masterclass, Patients as Educators Programme and Recovery Education Unit module. She is piloting the use of Balint Groups and Schwarz Rounds for undergraduates and is developing relevant placements within mental health settings for Physician Associates.

Through GenerationQ, Helen reports: ‘The delivery of mental health services and the educational methodologies used for assisting professionals and patients are currently undergoing profound changes. Novel strategies are needed and the GenerationQ fellowship has supported me to develop the necessary skills to engage with this process.’

She continues to lead strategies aimed at a shift in the relationship between patients and professionals through the development of opportunities for service user leaders to assist in teaching, quality improvement activities and the development of self management  through peer support: ‘I have gained the skills to lead on developments in to develop systems to assist in the learning and management of people with mental health difficulties in a personalised yet integrated manner, as well as developing a workforce equipped and supported to cope with the changes necessary to deliver this aim.'

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