Professor Ben Hannigan
Professor: Mental Health Nursing
I have worked at Cardiff University (and before that, the University of Wales College of Medicine) since 1997, having left a post as a community mental health nurse in East London. I combine researching mental health systems and services with teaching across all academic levels, and over the years have maintained a steady flow of journal papers, books, book chapters, blog pieces and conference presentations.
I am an active, founding, member of Mental Health Nurse Academics UK (MHNAUK) and am currently serving as the group's Vice Chair before becoming Chair for 2019-2020. I am a member of the International Mental Health Nursing Research Conference Committee, serving as Chair for the 2017 event which came to Cardiff on September 14th-15th. I won the Royal College of Nursing in Wales Research in Nursing Award in 2015, and joined the Health and Care Research Wales Social Care Research Award Funding Board for 2016. I am a member of the National Centre for Mental Health Partnership in Research (PÂR) group, which exists to create opportunities for mental health service users, carers and researchers to work together. I am an experienced editorial board member and peer reviewer for both journals and research funding bodies.
I am a longstanding member of the School of Healthcare Sciences' Research and Innovation Committee, and from May 2018 have become co-lead (with Dr Aled Jones) of the School's Optimising Service Delivery and Organisation research theme. I sit on the editorial board of Cardiff University Press.
I teach students on courses from pre-registration undergraduate through to professional doctorate levels, and supervise postgraduate research students.
Education and qualifications
2006: PhD, University of Wales. Thesis title: ‘Health and social care for people with severe mental health problems: an ethnographic study’.
2000: PGCE (FE) (awarded with Distinction), University of Wales Cardiff
1998: MA Health and Social Policy (awarded with Distinction), University of North London
Dissertation title: ‘Specialist post-registration education courses for community mental health nurses: do they prepare nurses to practise in contemporary community mental health settings?’
1995: Diploma in Professional Studies in Nursing (Community Psychiatric Nursing), University of East London
1994: Certificate in Counselling Skills, Institute of Advanced Nursing Education of the RCN
1992: Registered Mental Nurse and Registered General Nurse, Princess Alexandra and Newham College of Nursing
1986: BA (Honours) Political Theory and Institutions & Sociology (class 2:1), University of Sheffield
Honours and awards
2015: Winner, Royal College of Nursing in Wales Research in Nursing Award
2006: Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Capacity Building Collaboration Wales for Nursing and Allied Health Professionals
2000: Nursing Research Fellow, Smith and Nephew Foundation
2016-present: Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
2013-present: Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science
2003-present: Member, Mental Health Nurse Academics UK
2000-present: Lecturer/Practice Educator, Nursing and Midwifery Council
1992-present: Registered Nurse (Mental Health and Adult fields), Nursing and Midwifery Council
I am an experienced educator and Senior Fellow of the Higher Ecucation Academy, and edit books and write chapters for students of the health and social care professions. For 14 years I led a full-time, post-registration, professional body-approved course for mental health nurses practising in the community. I now teach, supervise and examine at pre-registration undergraduate, taught postgraduate and doctoral levels.
My current, specific, module responsibilities are:
BN (Hons) Mental Health: Evaluation of Care (Dissertation)
MSc Advanced Practice: Health Policy and Economics
MSc Advanced Practice: Work-Based Project and Research Dissertations
Doctorate in Advanced Healthcare Practice: Working and Leading in Complex Organisations
I use ideas and methods from the health and social sciences to study mental health systems, and am recognised internationally for a research programme which has specifically addressed these interrelated areas: policy; service organisation and delivery; work, roles and values; the characteristics and wellbeing of the workforce; practitioner education; and user and carer experiences.
From the late 1990s I was part of a team (led by Professor Philip Burnard) investigating stress and burnout in mental health workers whilst my PhD (supervised by Professors Davina Allen and Philip Burnard) was an ethnographic study of the organisation and delivery of interprofessional and interagency community mental health care. As a Research Capacity Building Collaboration Wales (RCBC Wales) Postdoctoral Fellow I investigated the establishment, work and impact of crisis resolution and home treatment (CRHT) services. I have since led the NIHR-funded RiSC team synthesising the evidence in the area of risk for young people using inpatient mental health services, and have been part of the NIHR-funded COCAPP and COCAPP-A teams (led by Professor Alan Simpson, City, University London) investigating care planning and care coordination in community and hospital mental health settings across England and Wales. I have also been part of the HCRW-funded Plan4Recovery team (led by Professor Michael Coffey, Swansea University) examining mental health recovery in social care settings, and am now part of the team (led by Professor Jon Bisson) investigating the use of a novel psychological therapy, 3MDR, for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Major research projects
Phase II Randomised Controlled Trial of 3MDR for Treatment Resistant Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Military Veterans. Forces in Mind Trust, 2016 [Professor Jonathan Bisson (CI), Professor Robert van Deursen, Dr Neil Kitchiner, Dr Ben Hannigan, Lt Col (Retired) John Skipper]
COCAPP-A: Cross-National Comparative Study of Recovery-Focused Mental Health Care Planning in Acute Inpatient Mental Health Settings. National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme, 2014 [Professor Alan Simpson (CI), Dr Michael Coffey, Dr Ben Hannigan, Alison Faulkner, Dr Aled Jones, Dr Sally Barlow, Dr Mark Haddad, Dr Karl Marlowe and Dr Jitka Všetečková]
Plan4Recovery: Assessing Mental Health Recovery, Care and Treatment Planning in Social Care. National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR), now Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW), Social Care Research Award, 2013 [Dr Michael Coffey (CI), Professor Deborah Fitzsimmons, Dr Ben Hannigan, Alan Meudell and (representing Hafal) Peter Martin and Christine Wilson]
RiSC: An Evidence Synthesis of Risk Identification, Assessment and Management for Young People using Tier 4 Inpatient Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme, 2013 [Dr Ben Hannigan (CI), Dr Nicola Evans, Deborah Edwards, Professor Steven Pryjmachuk. Dr Gemma Trainor, Elizabeth Gillen and Dr Mirella Longo]
COCAPP: Cross National Comparative Study of Recovery-Focused Mental Health Care Planning and Coordination. NIHR: HS&DR Programme, 2013 [Professor Alan Simpson (CI), Dr Ben Hannigan, Dr Michael Coffey, Alison Faulkner, Dr Aled Jones and Dr Jitka Všetečková]
Mental Health Services in Transition: Examining Community Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Care. Research Capacity Building Collaboration Wales for Nursing and Allied Health Professionals: Postdoctoral Fellowship [Dr Ben Hannigan (CI), Professor Davina Allen]
The Effectiveness of Clinical Supervision on Burnout amongst Community Mental Health Nurses in Wales. SONMS funded, 2002 [Professor Phillip Burnard (CI), Deborah Edwards, Ben Hannigan, Dave Coyle, Dr Anne Fothergill, John Adams, Tara Jugessur, Linda Cooper]
Health and Social Care for People with Severe Mental Health Problems: an Ethnographic Study. Smith and Nephew Foundation: Nursing Research Fellowship, 2000 [Dr Ben Hannigan (CI), Dr Davina Allen and Professor Philip Burnard]
A Systematic Review of the Effects of Stress Management Interventions for Mental Health Professionals. Wales Office of Research and Development for Health and Social Care, 200 [Professor Philip Burnard (CI), Deborah Edwards, Professor Micheal Owen, Dr Ben Hannigan, Dr Anne Fothergill and Dave Coyle]
Stress and Coping amongst Community Mental Health Nurses in Wales: a Replication of an English Study. General Nursing Council for England and Wales Trust, 1998 [Professor Philip Burnard (CI), Dr Ben Hannigan, Dave Coyle and Dr Anne Fothergill]
I am an experienced supervisor and examiner of postgraduate research degrees, and am committed to growing research capacity and capability in nursing and the wider health and social care professions.
I welcome research degree applications from potential students sharing my interests in understanding and improving mental health systems, services and nursing. I am particularly keen to hear from people aiming to develop their expertise in the use of in-depth qualitative research design and methods, and in research which involves meaningful collaborations with people with lived experience of mental health difficulties.