Listen to the blog audio here (14.54 MB) .
I hope you are all well and looking forward to that moment when the clocks change on 26th March – this always fills me with positivity and hope as the dark days are behind us again, at least for a while!
Another milestone in our calendar this month at the PPN NW EbE steering group is that we are saying ‘Bon Voyage!’ to Clare Baguley as she takes leave of her role as Psychological Professions Programme Manager and Health Education England NW Clinical Workforce Lead, to begin retirement with all the promise of new adventures this will bring. Earlier this month Clare shared her reflections with me on her experience of the role, on what has resonated with her and on her hopes for the future so, by way of farewell, this month’s blog is devoted to Clare on her involvement over the last 10 years.
With some surprise, Clare said, “There are only four weeks to go! I am leaving after 10 years and in May we will be celebrating 10 years of the PPN. At the start of our PPN journey, myself and Gita Bhutani set out with the vision of a Psychological Professions Network, ultimately giving voice to the psychological professions regionally and providing a platform to build national influence and leadership.
“Gita, at the time, summed this up perfectly with her pithy phrase ‘We want the psychological professions network to reach the places that other networks have never reached!’ – an adaption of a well-known beer advertising slogan at the time. This led to the mantra of Inform, Enable & Influence which since this time has underpinned everything the PPN aims to do”.
Back in 2013 Clare, newly appointed as Programme Manager, and Gita Bhutani as Chair of the newly formed network set out on this journey championed by Neil Mcloughlan, the mental health lead in the newly formed NHS organisation Health Education England. Neil saw the potential for a professional network, underpinned by a community of practice approach, to support the work of education, commissioning and workforce development, showing great vision and leadership in enabling the network to develop and grow. Initially, Clare and Gita started with the goal to recruit 1,000 members. Soon, with the creation of a website and a PPN explanatory animation, the psychological professions network was on the map and in subsequent years spread across the regions.
Importantly, the PPN is celebrating a National Clinical Lead for the Psychological Professions with Adrian Whittington being appointed the first person to hold that role last October. 10 years on from the inception of the PPN, this landmark development ensures that regional psychological professions networks and leaders across the psychological professions have a place at the NHS strategic and workforce development table.
Clare reflected, “Looking back at that time and at the emergent history really allows me to see how we got to where we are now”. But what about what’s next? “10 years on, the psychological professions network has grown and been successful in its aim to Inform, Enable and Influence, but this is still a work in progress, indicative of the large-scale change and culture shift that continues to take place. The growth of regional PPNs and the appointment of a national lead allows new conversations to take place to consolidate and build psychological professionals influence in NHS strategic and planning environments. Leadership opportunities are growing too with the development of PPN fellowships and placements. For example, trainees can be facilitated to gain experience of leadership and strategic roles helping psychological professionals to recognise their wealth of transferable skills”.
This is a time for taking stock and an emotional time too, what would you like to share with us about this? “This has always been a network bigger than its parts. Of course, I have mixed feelings at this point, people and relationships are hard to let go of after 10 years. But responsible leadership must pave the way for others to hand on the baton to allow new ideas to flourish and grow. It’s not a sprint but a long-distance relay race and now I am passing the baton on for the next leg!
“After taking a period to adjust and recharge, including making the most of the ‘Lucky Dip Pot’ (if you know Clare, get details!), I may want to contribute in new ways. On a final note, I will particularly miss working with the EbE steering group. I have been blessed to facilitate the forum and am leaving as our EbE animation launch sums up that achievement. I will be there for the 10 years celebration in May, I wouldn’t miss it, but it’s time now for me to move on”.
From all of us on the EbE steering group we are so grateful for the support and nurture Clare has offered the group, we will miss her so much. Clare, enjoy your time to take stock with every opportunity to utilise the “Lucky Dip Pot” and in fulfilling all of your dreams!
Now to share a few diary dates and links:
You can find the PPN EbE animation/toolkit and resources for any discussion (including vital feedback for us please!) you may be having on EbE involvement at
On Tuesday 18th of April 2023, it is the Talking Therapies (previously known as IAPT) Spring Forum- PPN EbE Steering Group are delighted to be taking part with a slot at 09:40am during the session.
DETAILS TO FOLLOW ON https://ppn.nhs.uk/north-west IN COMING DAYs.
On Wednesday 24th of May 2023 is the 10 year PPN anniversary celebration please find out more at
I am looking forward to sharing with you in the April blog more on our involvement at the 10 Year PPN Anniversary Celebration. Also an interview with Ioannis Angelakis from Liverpool University on what working with EbE’s means to him in his work and in his research and more on this blog branching out in a new form on the ARC NWC platform at
Also on Thursday 30th March 2023, between 12pm – 1:30pm, there is a Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Event for Research Staff at Liverpool University - including a screening of the PPN NW EbE steering group animation where I am speaking as a panel member on EbE involvement.
Please do get in touch at any time with your questions and suggestions to
Until then take care of yourselves