A Bolton consultant has been shortlisted for a prestigious national mental health award.

Dr Hannah Cappleman, Consultant Psychiatrist at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH), has been shortlisted in the prestigious Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) Awards.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional medical body responsible for supporting psychiatrists throughout their careers from training through to retirement, and in setting and raising standards of psychiatry in the United Kingdom.

The RCPsych Awards mark the highest level of achievement within psychiatry, and are designed to recognise and reward excellent practice in the field of mental health.

Dr Cappleman, who acts as the ‘Supported Return to Training and Less Than Full Time Champion’ at the North West School of Psychiatry, and Trainee Welfare Lead at GMMH, alongside her clinical role at GMMH’s Bolton Early Intervention Team, has been shortlisted in the ‘Psychiatric Educator of the Year’ award.

Dr Cappleman is a valued educator amongst psychiatric trainees, doctors training to become specialist psychiatrists, in the North West.

She is known particularly for championing the needs of trainees who work less than full time and of those who are returning to training after time off.

Dr Cappleman has implemented successful workshops to empower those who are returning to training, and to make their transition as easy as possible.

She also created a social media group for those who work less than full time, that has flourished into a strong peer support network.

And recently, Dr Cappleman led on a school-wide LTFT survey, which has led to an action plan to improve work placements for this group. 

Dr Cappleman also sits on the School’s Health and Wellbeing group, advocating for initiatives to address burnout amongst trainees, and developing improvements to the overall wellbeing offer.

Alongside all of her achievements, Dr Cappleman has also pioneered Trauma Informed Care (TIC) training in the region.

She has developed a package of training for a variety of professional groups to raise awareness and understanding of how to support mental health patients with a history of trauma.

As part of this work, she has developed a training package for junior doctors in Bolton which includes workshops and discussion groups, co-led with a psychologist.

Evaluation of this training has shown that it has been successful in improving trainees’ awareness of the psychological impact of trauma, whilst also improving the wellbeing of psychiatric trainees.

Speaking about her nomination, Dr Cappleman said: "It’s an honour to have been shortlisted for Psychiatric Educator of the Year.

“I have been nominated in part for my work with less than full time trainees and those returning to training after a break.

"Championing trainee wellbeing is so important and it's fantastic that this work has been recognised in this way.

“Promoting and teaching more trauma informed ways of working is another aspect of my work that has been highlighted.

"High quality staff education that teaches the relational aspects of our work is vital to improving patient care, so I’m delighted these sessions have been so well received.”

Dr Gemma Buston, Specialty Trainee in Psychiatry at GMMH, who nominated Dr Cappleman said: “Dr Cappleman is a compassionate educational supervisor, who takes time to get to know individual trainees.

"She goes out of her way, for example, by lending out her books and checking in regularly with trainees.

"Many trainees frequently reach out for support around LTFT and SuppoRTT issues and find that she shows that she really understands their particular needs and can help them navigate the best form of help.

“Through her champion role and social media presence, trainees feel able to contact her about their individual needs, to help them navigate the scheme.

"The online presence that Dr Cappleman has created also allows people to talk openly and honestly together around their anxieties related to their work placements, modelling this culture by sharing her own past experiences.

“Dr Cappleman is able to bring to life how psychotherapeutic ideas such as trauma-informed care can change the way we approach and treat patients.

"The training she has developed has led to widespread improvements in this area.” 

Dr Alice Seabourne, Medical Director at GMMH said: “I am incredibly proud of Dr Cappleman for being shortlisted for a prestigious RCPsych Award.

"Dr Cappleman goes above and beyond in her role as Champion for those who work less than full time, and those who are returning to training; and it is heartening to hear the value that she has brought – and continues to bring - to so many psychiatric trainees in the North West.

“Dr Cappleman also continues to shape and improve the practice of psychiatry through her development of evidence-based training for trainee medical professionals.

"Her work to improve understanding of trauma-informed care is particularly commendable, and the impact that this will have on the support, treatment and wellbeing of the most vulnerable in our communities cannot be underestimated.”