My name is Gary Lamph. I am an Advanced Practitioner in Personality Disorder. I work for the PD Hub Service. I lead on a strategy called ‘The Wigan Multi-Agency Personality Disorder Strategy: A Strategy for Inclusion’. The Strategy involves educating and enabling multi-agency services to work more effectively with people with personality disorder or those who present with traits or characteristics consistent with this diagnosis. It sets out to provide strong seamless links between mental health services and the wider system for the benefit of people with personality disorder.

I have the pleasure of working with a vast array of partners in the delivery of this strategy including our Trust’s specialist Personality Disorder Hub Service, the multi-agencies involved in the strategy and the Experts by Experience (EBE’s) who are integral to our work. Our view is: “Who better to inform and advise services than the people who use them and have lived experience of personality disorder?”

When I started in the post 18 months ago I was given a blank canvas from which to develop our strategy following our local commissioners innovatively identifying a gap in services.

I went on to make contact with different personality disorder services across the country to establish how they provided support to multi-agencies. This was not fruitful. Many areas had placed concentration into secondary services with the hope of working with multi-agencies in the future. I therefore had no-one to replicate.

One of my first challenges was to identify the key partner agencies most likely to come into contact with people with personality disorder and also to identify champions from each of these agencies who had the right attitudes, a genuine interest in personality disorder, passion and commitment to support this strategy.

My next challenge was to identify people with lived experience of personality disorder - Experts by Experience (EbEs) - to support the development and delivery of the strategy in partnership with the multi-agency Experts by Occupation (EbOs) replicating the great work of the PD Hub. It was important to identify people who were right for the strategy but equally that the strategy was right for them.

People were brought into support strategy at no cost to the strategy but based on the benefits they would get from involvement. Experts by Experience are reimbursed expenses and receive payment from our Trust’s involvement scheme for any time they contribute to the strategy. Our involvement scheme is and continues to be a great support to us.

Once our strategy members were identified and engaged, we trained the team up as trainers of the nationally-recognised Knowledge and Understanding Framework (KUF) personality disorder awareness level training and developed a strategy for the self-sufficient roll-out of this training to the key multi-agencies identified. In the first year we will have delivered 12 cohorts of KUF offering out up to 240 multi-agency training places.

We also hold a monthly multi-agency forum meeting where projects and strategy roll-out is driven from. This is inclusive of EbOs and EbEs. We have a monthly EbE forum meeting where EbE-led projects and developments are discussed. These meetings assist in maintaining momentum to the strategy, support the roll-out of initiatives, and also provide strategy members with regular support, education, supervision, guidance and continued professional development opportunities.

In total we currently have a team of 35 EbO partners and 10 EbE partners who form a virtual team that work together in supporting, developing and implementing our strategy objectives.

Earlier this year the Trust Board recognised the benefits and uniqueness of the strategy and subsequently put myself as the nurse leading this strategy forward for the Nursing Times Awards 2011 in the category of mental health nursing.

We were shortlisted and invited to provide the judging panel with a presentation to bring the strategy alive. Two people were able to present, therefore myself and one of the partner EbEs went to London to present the strategy. I provided the strategy overview whilst our EbE representative developed the later part of the presentation which provided an overview of EbE involvement and why EbE involvement is such a powerful component of this strategy. I think the EbE Presenter was calmer than me, but after the events it transpired we were both really nervous - just outwardly showing it in different ways.

So on 2 November 2011 a group of people who are representative of the strategy attended a glittering ceremony in London were we were presented as Winners.

This was a great achievement for myself and the team and something we are all really proud of. Without the involvement and support of the PD Hub, the Trust, the multi-agencies and the experts by experience there would be no strategy and therefore special thanks goes out to them.

All involved are so proud of this achievement as it raises the profile of personality disorder initiatives, of the innovative work taking place in our Trust and of our ambition to embrace and challenge conventional ways of working in partnership with EbEs.

I hope that as a result of gaining national recognition via the Nursing Times Awards others follow this strategy to improve wider multi-agency service responses for people with personality disorder.

Our future ambitions for the Wigan Multi-Agency Personality Disorder Strategy in 2012-2013 remain ambitious. Our 3 key aims for the next 12 months include;
  •  Write up and publish our work and complete our service evaluation study that aims to measure the effectiveness of our multi-agency training roll out in year 1.
  • Developing an intervention strategy that will support interventions for people with Anti-Social Personality Disorder and related difficulties using a cognitive behavioural therapy technique called ‘Stop and Think’ this will be inclusive of both Trust staff and multi-agencies in its pilot phase.
  • We also have proposed our second years self sufficient PD Awareness training roll out, which will provide agencies with more choice with both ‘KUF’ and ‘Personality Disorder in Mind’ PDiM (replicating the PD awareness training opportunities being offered within the Trust but with a Multi-Agency focus) being provided. Our ambition is to provide training up to 320 Wigan Multi-Agency delegates between April 2012-April 2013.

For any further information on this project please contact me via e-mail at or telephone 07769 673084/ 01942 264722.


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Email: rweber@thebalsams.comPosted on: 15/05/2012 16:23:12

Nothnig I could say would give you undue credit for this story.