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Royal College of Nursing Representing nurses and nursing, promoting excellence in practice, shaping health policies

Meet the Team

Ed Freshwater

Ed Freshwater


Community Mental Health Nursing
Birmingham's Perinatal Mental Health Service

Ed started working in mental health as an HCA in 2009, first in forensic community and then medium-secure settings. Following qualification he changed tack, currently facilitating therapeutic groups for Birmingham's Perinatal Mental Health Service. During his  time at university he was class rep for three years, and represented the student voice on the committee of RCN South Birmingham branch, attended Congress and presented at conferences on subjects including diet and spirituality in mental health. He has written a regular column for the British Journal of Nursing, and is an avid fan of social media to improve nursing. He is passionate about protecting and empowering those most marginalised by mental illness, and championing the role of the mental health nurse as part of holistic, multi-disciplinary care.

Adrian Brown

Adrian Brown

Alcohol Nurse Specialist
Northwick Park & Central Middlesex Hospitals

Adrian works as an alcohol nurse specialist RMN with over 20 years' experience in hospital liaison roles and since February 2014, he has worked within the psychiatric liaison team at Northwick Park Hospital, working for CNWL Mental Health Trust.

He worked in community drugs and alcohol services for mental health services across six boroughs of London. 
From 1998 to 2010 he helped establish the Paddington Alcohol Test at St Mary's Hospital and provided substance misuse input and brief advice/brief interventions (IBA) in the A&E and acute medical wards.

At St George's Hospital, he helped to establish an alcohol liaison services for emergency and acute medical departments and working with Wandsworth's assertive outreach team to help frequent attendees.

His other area of interest is substance use in mental health (SUMH, aka dual diagnosis), and is the chair of the Public Health England’s London Alcohol Care Team Forum. 

Claire Carson

Clair Carson

Assistant Director of Operations Mental Health
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

Clair is an experienced, current PhD student, master’s degree educated, senior nurse and manager with effective leadership skills and a proven track record of achievement and change in a wide variety of settings and services.  Qualifying as a Registered General Nurse in 1987 she went on to complete her RMN in 1992. Her current Doctorate studies are focussed on the management of the high risk service user in a crisis.  Clair is a strong advocate  for service user centered services and a champion of the service user, carer and staff voice in equal measures. Clair has had a wide ranging career to date and is widely respected for the work undertaken in the development of mental health services, especially within the acute service line, acute adult wards, A and E liaison as well as HTT teams and Crisis Services such as RAID.

Clair is constantly accessing ways in which to personal develop including a recent trip to New Zealand on a research scholarship with the Florence Nightingale Foundation researching the management of the service user in a crisis.

Clair is keen on conveying a national strategic vision to a reality within local service lines. Most recently this has included the implementation of the Triangle of care principles and safer staffing levels within her own Trust footprint.

Clair hopes her time on the Mental Health Forum will aid her own development as well as afford opportunities to be able to aid the development of others, both from a staffing perspective but for organisations, service users and carers as well.

Becky Hoskins

Becky Hoskins

Deputy Ward Manager and Physical Health Lead,
Secure & Complex Care, 
Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust

Becky has worked in healthcare in a variety of learning disability, mental health, substance misuse, and forensic settings for over 14 years and currently works in Birmingham in a medium secure male forensic unit.  She has also taught undergraduate nursing students as a visiting lecturer on the subjects of physical health in mental health and clinical risk assessment and management.

She has been involved with the RCN in a number of roles over the past 6 years.  This has included working with her Local Branch (South Birmingham) organising & running Local Learning Events, the role of Branch Treasurer as well as being involved in Local and National Campaigns, and speaking at Congress on a number of items. She is also Vice Chair of the West Midlands Regional Board and an active Learning Representative.

Especially focused on providing a holistic person centered approach to care addressing both mental and physical health needs, Becky actively promotes the health & well being of patient care to colleagues and patients as well as looking after mental health needs.

Becky is very passionate about working to remove the stigma attached to Mental Illness and to campaign for better nurse education around mental health, and the impact of mental illness on the wider health & social care context, as part of national nurse education.

Ellie Gordon

Ellie Gordon

Manager, Continuing Healthcare Team
Nursing Directorate in NHS England 

Ellie started her nursing career when Project 2000 was the latest development in Nurse training, designed to create nurses who questioned more and had a greater evidence base to their practice. Her experience still shapes her practice today, however it wasn’t the increased evidence base that has shaped her, as much as the mentors she learned so much from and the patients who very kindly allowed her to learn from their experiences.

Since that time she has worked in a variety of areas of clinical practice ranging from Medium secure psychiatric care, to police cells and community drug and alcohol services. Through to working as a commissioner in a PCT and currently working in the Nursing Directorate in NHS England with the Learning Disability programme. 

Throughout all these roles she has always kept the belief that for her to be credible as a nurse, leader, manager, commissioner and clinical lead, she has to keep talking and working with patients. Although she continues to learn and develop through evidence base, policy, contact with colleagues and stakeholders, the people she constantly learns from are the patients and their families. They constantly remind her why there is always more that they can do to help, and higher standards is what's needed to strive to achieve, to reduce and remove inequality in health care and ensure parity of esteem.

So by continuing to work in clinical practice, she has been able to add another dimension to her work in NHS England, one which can use the experience of working on the frontline and patient stories to continue to enhance policy development and in turn patient care. 

Tim Coupland

Tim Coupland

Mental Health Nurse
Trainer, Coach and Health Consultant

Tim is a mental health nurse with over 25 years’ experience of working in a variety of mental health care settings. In recent years he has worked in senior nurse roles focusing on quality, governance & service development.
He currently works in a self-employed capacity providing training, coaching and consultancy to the NHS. He is particularly interested in stakeholder work, organisational development and innovative service planning. 

He is passionate about promoting and focusing on the lived experience of those who use services, in particular tackling stigma and negative perceptions of what it means to have a mental health difficulty. He strongly believes that ‘co-production’ of services is central to the development of services and wants to see greater equality and roles for service users and carers in the planning of mental health services.  
As well as being a mental health nurse, he holds a business degree and has a number of other professional qualifications - he is currently completing empirical work as part of an MSc programme on the role of human factors in completed suicide.  


RCN Professional Lead for Mental Health, Catherine Gamble

Page last updated - 05/03/2019