NCAP Implementation Group

The NCAP implementation group co-ordinates expert and specialist input into audit development and operation.

Paul French

Professor Paul French, Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, and NCAP Joint Clinical Advisor to the EIP Audit in England, Wales and Ireland

Paul French is a registered Mental Health Nurse and clinical Academic based at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester Metropolitan University. Paul has work in the NHS for over 36 years and over that time has specialised in working with people with psychosis and emerging psychosis. His work has a particular emphasis on the development and testing of psychological interventions to help people manage distressing experiences associated with psychosis alongside working strategically to improve services for people with psychosis.

Paul has worked regionally for a number of years to support the development of Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services across the North West region through the North West Coast as Clinical Lead for EIP. Paul was a member of the National Expert Reference Group that developed the Access and Waiting Times Standards for EIP. Paul continues to support the implementation of not only national standards but also aligned data collection and service improvement initiatives through his post within the Royal College of Psychiatry at the College Centre for Quality Improvement who undertake national audit work and where he is joint clinical advisor for the NCAP. 

Paul is an applicant on a number of NIHR clinical trials with a current total grant income of over £7M, predominantly focussing on psychosis. In 2022 with collaborators, Paul was awarded an NIHR Program grant to understand the impact of duration of early intervention treatment on health outcomes. Paul is an author on over 100 peer reviewed publications alongside several book and book chapters in relation to the treatment of people with psychosis and early psychosis.

In addition Paul is the mental health clinical lead for the Greater Manchester Clinical Research Network (GMCRN) and for the past 4 years has been a board member of IEPA  (Early Intervention in Mental Health), and has worked to align the work of IEPA with the World Psychiatric Association to support the development of Early Intervention approaches globally.

Professor Jo Smith

Professor Jo Smith, Emeritus Professor of Early Intervention and Psychosis, University of Worcester, United Kingdom, and NCAP Joint Clinical Advisor to the EIP Audit in England, Wales and Ireland

Jo Smith is an Emeritus Professor of Early Intervention and Psychosis at University of Worcester in the UK. She was a Chartered Clinical Psychologist working predominantly in adult mental health services during a 34 years NHS career in the UK delivering, teaching and supervising a wide range of CBT based approaches including family, sibling and IPS employment support interventions. For 16 years, she was the Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) Lead for Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust (1999-2015) and a Joint National EIP Programme Lead for England (2004-2010). She was an invited EIP expert on several national expert reference task groups and involved in the development and roll out of several key national policies and guidance relating to both EIP and IPS.

She is co-chair of the International First Episode Vocational Recovery Group (iFEVR) and was an author of the 'Newcastle Declaration' (2002), 'Early Psychosis Declaration'(2004) and ‘Meaningful Lives’(2008) EIP International Consensus Statements. She has co-authored a number of research articles in relation to first episode psychosis and has been involved in many national multi-site EIP research trials. Her clinical and research work has largely focused on the development, evaluation and delivery of psychosocial interventions to individuals with psychosis and their families. For the last 5 years since July 2017, Jo has been a NCAP Joint Clinical Advisor to the EIP Audit in England, Wales and Ireland.

For 6 years, Jo was project lead for 'Suicide Safer' a multiagency student suicide prevention initiative at University of Worcester (2013-2019), which was a finalist for a Times HE 2018 'Outstanding Support for Students' Award. She is a member of the international 'Zero Suicide' initiative and was a co-author of an 'International Declaration on Zero Suicide in Healthcare' published in 2015. She has been a member of several national working groups which produced UUK (2017) '#Stepchange: Mental health in Higher Education', UUK (2018) 'Minding Our Future' and UUK and PAPYRUS (2018) 'Suicide Safer Universities' Toolkit.

Jo supervised two PhD research studentships respectively exploring student suicide prevention and postvention policy and practice in UK HEIs and postvention support needs and roles for HEI staff following a student suicide. Jo co-edited a book with Dr. Sharon Mallon from the Open University: 'Preventing and Responding to Student Suicide. A Practical Guide for FE and HE Settings.' which was published by Jessica Kingsley in November 2021. She has recently co-authored and co-edited HE Postvention Guidance, ‘by the sector, for the sector’, to guide HE senior leaders to respond sensitively and quickly after an unexpected student death by suspected suicide. This Office for Students funded guide will be jointly published by UUK, PAPYRUS and Samaritans in Autumn 2022.

Veenu Gupta

Veenu Gupta, PhD Student in Psychology at the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, and NCAP Service User Advisor to the EIP Audit in England, Wales and Ireland

Veenu is currently a Psychology PhD student at the University of Liverpool with expertise in both qualitative and quantitative approaches to research and has an MSc in Psychological research methods from University of Leicester. She is also a former Mental Health Nurse, having worked in acute mental health settings and assertive outreach and rehabilitation teams, supporting people with mental illnesses including psychosis, both at East London Foundation Trust and Leicestershire Partnership Trust.

Veenu works in her role as Service user Advisor for the NCAP, where she brings her personal knowledge of experiencing early intervention in psychosis services following her own diagnosis of psychosis. She believes in the value of early intervention services and these very services have influenced and shaped her own recovery over the years and prognosis following further relapse, providing Veenu with a source of motivation to further strengthen and contribute towards early intervention in psychosis services. This has motivated her work on the audit since 2018 to 2022 and her need to give back to the service in some way.

Veenu combines her personal experiences with her research skills to identify the needs of service users in early intervention in psychosis services and prioritise their needs in the NCAP audit. Veenu has also contributed to the refreshed guidelines of the Access and Waiting Time standard to Early Intervention in Psychosis services, as an Expert reference group member in 2020.

Veenu also works as a Service user Advisor to the EXTEND study and has helped develop and is co-chair of its patient and carer advisory group, part of a wider team that seeks to understand the optimal duration of early intervention services for patients with psychosis. Veenu is also Service user Advisor to a PhD fellow researcher and advisor to the Lancet Psychiatry commission into Psychosis. She very much thinks of herself as a lived experience researcher, combining each of her different identities, both personally and professionally, that she brings to the table as a fellow expert on the NCAP team.

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