Di is responsible for the overall management and leadership of the Division of Social Work and Health within the School of Social Sciences. She is also Director of Research for the School of Social Sciences and Chairs the School's Research Committee.
Di's teaching subject areas include:
- mental health
- working with individuals with complex needs
- service user involvement in education and service development
- organisational change and development
- adult learning and research skills.
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 a National Teaching Fellow 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 practice experience in mental health research and practice. She has over 20 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:
- evaluating the New Cross Project (6K) with Ashfield Distract Council
- providing Early Help Services to children and young people in Nottinghamshire (168k) KTP with Nottinghamshire County Council and the ESRC
- Talk About Self Harm (T-A-S-H) a project to promote self-help in primary care for young people who self-harm (33K) with Nottingham Health Clinical Commissioning Group.
Previous Research Projects include:
- Nottinghamshire County Council - Providing analytical support for substance misuse services for children and young people (30K)
- Pioneering Care Partnership Evaluating Health Trainer Initiatives for Offenders 2009-11 (22K)
- KTP Project: Improving Care for Women who Self Harm 2008-09 (318,742K) see KTP online for more information
- Northumberland Tyne and Wear Trust 2008-10. Whole Systems working in mental health (45K)
- Prison and Offender Research in Health and Social Care 2006-09 (80K)
- Evaluating New Roles in the Mental Health Workforce. Department of Health, Scientific Delivery Organisation 2006-09 (350k)
- Northumberland Tyne and Wear Trust 2005-07. Service user led research project to evaluate standards of care (35K).
Di is Co-President of the Association of Professors of Social Work.
Di is the external examiner for the MA in Mental Health (Approved Mental Health Professional) AMHP Programme at the University of East Anglia and the External Examiner for the MSc in Recovery at the University of Hertfordshire. She is also Edictor in Chief of 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, SEA, and harmless in Nottingham.
Di’s recent research has involved her in working with Rampton Hospital, various prisons, the Discovery Museum in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nottinghamshire Probation Trust, Nottingham University and the Galleries of Justice. Di has previously collaborated with and maintains current links with Durham and Darlington PCT.
She 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