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31 January 2016

Ian / CoventryI was born and grew up in the thriving metropolis that is Coventry. This is one reason why I am fascinated by the paintings of the great George Shaw. I  moved to the North West to study as a post-graduate at Manchester University.

Ian Cummins

Ian Cummins

I originally trained as a probation officer. It is so long ago that not only did trainees qualify as social workers but they were also generously sponsored by the Home Office. In the first year of my course , I received a £200 book allowance. After working as a probation officer, I was civil servant – a job I was totally unsuited for and not very good at –  but I did meet Mrs. Cummins whilst working in that office. I moved back to social work and worked as a mental health social worker in Central Manchester before taking up academic posts. I joined the University in 2003 and became a Senior Lecturer in 2006. I have been the leader for both undergraduate and postgraduate social work programmes. In a move that surprised a lot of people – myself included – I was appointed the Acting Director for Social Work Education  for a period last year.

researchMy main research revolves around the experiences of people with mental health problems in the Criminal Justice system. This includes all areas of the CJS but I have focused on policing and mental illness.  I argue the CJS has become, in many incidences, the default provider of mental health care. In the area of social theory, I am influenced by Wacquant’s analysis of  processes of advanced marginality.and the development of the penal state analysis of the development of mental health policy has applied Jonathan Simon’s   notion of “governing through crime”  to the history of community care.   I am currently working in two areas : the history of anti-psychiatry and social work’s response to poverty.

Ian4I have just completed a book that examines mental health issues across the CJS. This is due for publication in March 2016.  I explore the way that the failure of community care policies have led to more people with mental health problems being drawn into the CJS. This is not only unjust but puts their health at greater risk.  The book argues that the use of imprisonment has to be reduced and that the only way to do this is by rediscovering the principle of dignity.  All those caught up in the CJS are our fellow citizens if we start from acknowledging this fundamental point then we would devise completely different responses to offending.

I am now working with colleagues, Sarah Pollock and Valerie Houghton on research that will examine the implementation of the Care Act in HMP Manchester. I am also involved in an evaluation with Kate Parkinson of a local project that is aiming to reduce the numbers of vulnerable young people who are “missing from home”.

Ian5With colleagues at MMU, I have been working on a series of papers about TV crime drama. These include discussions of the representation of stress in cop drama but also research that explored retired officers’ views. Like all right thinking people, I am slightly obsessed with the Wire – they teach a course on it at Harvard so we should do the same at Salford.

elfI am a reviewer for a number of journals, on the editorial board of the Journal of Adult Protection. I also write regularly for the Conversation, and the Socialcareelf and Mentalcareelf blogs. I suspect that I am best known across the School for having the clearest desk in the department and for that Elf video.

Ian Cummins, Senior Lecturer in Social Work

School of Nursing Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences

The interview process for our Nursing and Midwifery programmes

16 December 2015

We often get asked for tips to offer our prospective students about the interview process for our Nursing and Midwifery programmes, so thought it would be useful to share them here on our blog.

So, what’s the interview all about? Well, it’s really an opportunity for us to meet you, and for you to meet us. We can check you understand what will be required of you as a nursing or midwifery student, and you can check we fit with what you want from a University.

How should I prepare?

13237Before the interview itself, get to know the programme that you have applied for and get a real insight into the roles and responsibilities of the nurse or midwife. Take the opportunity to talk to people who are working within your chosen field. You should also do some research to make sure you’re aware of what’s current in health care, and if you are at school or college, take advantage of the careers facilities and practice your interview technique.


Users & Carers 10th anniversary

6 December 2015

It is with enormous pride and pleasure that I have been asked to write a short blog entry about the user and carer (@userscarersSU) group in the school and particularly as next year i.e. 2016, marks the 10th anniversary of their formation way back in 2006. A whole decade ago the group started in Peel House, Eccles when we were just a school of Nursing and during this time the group have traveled a huge journey with us to where we are now as a school.

Student conferences

Student conferences

Over the past ten years so much has happened worthy of celebration, appreciation and respect. How we do this is open to suggestions and ideas; we would love your input but before that maybe if I tell you something about the group it might help your thinking and suggestions. The members, who are service users and or family carers – ordinary people – give their time freely as volunteers to meet with academic staff and students about four times a year to offer insights into any and every aspect of teaching and learning in the context of healthcare education and practice.


I am going to greatly enjoy myself here at Salford

22 November 2015

Tyler Warburton

My name is Tyler and I am a lecturer within nursing, much like Lisa who delivered last weeks blog, I am very new here.  This will be my forth week at the University of Salford and I am settling in well.  Its hard not to, given the welcoming and warm nature of the people I have met so far.  I think it will be quite sometime before I remember everyone’s names and perhaps much longer until I fully get my head around the finer details of the programme.

The most memorable and inspiring encounter I have had so far came in my second week.  I was given the opportunity to attend the second of the patient conferences that had been put on for the new cohort of nurses and midwives that had started in September.  Service user involvement is something of an interest of mine so I anticipated I would enjoy the day, but I most definitely underestimated how much.