Di is the Associate Dean in the School of Social Sciences which means she is responsible for the overall management and leadership across the School as a whole. In this capacity Di Chairs the School's Research Committee, leads the School's research strategy and supervises a number of postgraduate research students and research staff.
Di researches in the following areas:
- mental health including care for people with different types of mental health problems as well as research relating to the mental health workforce
- working with individuals with complex needs such as mental health and offending
- service user involvement in research, practice and service development
- health and social care
- organisational change and development
- adult learning and research skills
Di was Head of the Department of Social Work and Health at NTU from 2010-2016
Prior to joining Nottingham Trent University in 2010, Di held the position of Reader in Social Work at Durham University from 2005.
Between 1995-2005 Di was employed by the University of Birmingham where she held the role of Principal Lecturer in Mental Health. In 2002 during her time at Birmingham Di was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship for excellent teaching in interdisciplinary, mental health education.
Di is a Principal Fellow of the HEA and a Chartered Member of the CIPD. She is a registered social worker with the HCPC.
Di has particular research expertise in:
- Participatory Action Research
- Systematic Reviews
- Evaluation Research
Di has extensive experience in mental health research and practice. She has over 25 years' experience evaluating the education, development and workforce change in health and social care. Di has established interdisciplinary centres of excellence in mental health education and research and is committed to the involvement of people who use services and their families in all aspects of service design delivery and evaluation.
Current research projects include:
- developing inclusive services for older prisoners
- embedding the social care role in integrated health and social care teams for older adults with complex needs
- improving outcomes for prisoners who self-harm
- providing Early Help Services to children and young people
- Talking About Self Harm (T-A-S-H) -promoting self-help in primary care for young people who self-harm
Di is a Non-Executive Director of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. She is a reviewer for the National Institute for Health Research and a member of the NICE Committee reviewing clinical guidelines for depression in young people. Di is Editor in Chief for the Journal of Mental Health, Training Education and Practice.
Sponsors and collaborators
Di is currently leading on a range of projects using a Participatory Action Research Approach to improve outcomes for people using health and social care services. She works with a range of service user groups including Making Waves, Launchpad, and SEA.
Di’s recent research has involved her in working with Rampton Hospital, various prisons, Nottinghamshire County Council, Ashfield District Council and Age UK Nottinghamshire.
Di also has links into the National Offender Management, and a range of prisons and secure hospitals across the Country. Di works with a number of health trusts and social care organisations including: Ashfield District Council, Nottingham City Health, Northumberland Tyne and Wear Trust, Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Housing Association and The Service Delivery Organisation of the Department of Health.
- Offender health
- Mental health
- Social work
- Action research