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Community and mental health services for Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.


Solent NHS Trust advances mental health provision for inpatients with first Approved Clinician

Solent NHS Trust has strengthened its mental health provision for inpatients with Sharon Lewry obtaining Approved Clinician (AC) status, the first Advanced Clinical Practitioner to do so in the Trust’s history.

Approved clinicians are mental health professionals that have been approved by the Secretary Of State, or a person or body exercising the approval function of the Secretary Of State. Some decisions under the Mental Health Act can only be taken by people who are approved clinicians.

Sharon explained: “In order to receive the title, I had to complete a portfolio which evidenced the eight competencies of an AC as set out in the Secretary of State’s instructions. These included knowledge of legal policy and framework, assessment, treatment and leadership and multi-disciplinary working. In the portfolio were examples of section papers, tribunal reports and reflections on each item that was submitted. Work had to be signed off by my supervisor and then went to the England South Approvals Panel for review.”

Sharon’s colleagues on the Maple Ward at St James’ Hospital in Portsmouth have welcomed the news.

Tade Thompson, Consultant Psychiatrist, explained: “It is an utter pleasure to receive news of Sharon’s Approved Clinician status. She worked diligently through what was a hard and often frustrating road, although this is to be expected since no one had done it before. This will help the service because she can now take up a role that has been difficult to fill in the Acute Care Pathway. She can also mentor others to follow in her footsteps, building a new development pathway for other clinicians.  This is an innovative solution to boost the number of Approved Clinicians in the inpatient service.”

Sharon is full of optimism about the positive contribution she will make in delivering great care for patients. She added: “Although I’m a little anxious about taking on such an extended role, I’m incredibly proud that all my hard work has come to this. I just want to start the real learning and start working as an AC."


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