Delivering Knowledge of Physical Health Issues in Mental Health Settings

The 2018 International Mental Health Conference is almost upon us again, this year the conference will be held over the 8th – 10th August at the RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

This annual conference is now in its 19th year and continues to be the pinnacle event in the mental health industry. The Conference provides an invaluable opportunity to build relationships and to share knowledge, research and latest policies.

Mr Samuel Thompson, RN at the Prince of Wales Hospital joins us at the conference to discuss ‘Bite sized Teaching: Delivering Knowledge of Physical Health Issues in Mental Health Settings’.


bite sized teaching is an initiative that has worked successfully in Yorkshire and Derbyshire mental health services for the last 3 years. It involves the delivery of high-impact, 10-minute tutorials on physical health topics, which take place once a week in the ward lunchtime handover period. This is an initiative that is easy to implement and has proved transferable across different ward-based settings, not least because of its minimal financial implications. This paper outlines the rationale for bite sized teaching before discussing the threefold appraisal involving the audit of feedback from brief questionnaires, focus group commentary and a personal testimony from a staff nurse.

We used data from two mental health units, with feedback from a mixed adult and older adult general acute setting producing 129 questionnaire forms and a forensic site producing 162 questionnaire forms. Analysis revealed that there was an overall improvement in the perceived knowledge of practitioners of 63% in the forensic setting, compared to between 34% and 46% improvement in perceived knowledge of practitioners in the mixed adult and older adult general acute setting. In conclusion, bite sized teaching has generated significant increase in practitioners' perceived knowledge of physical health issues on the ward. This suggests that the concept of short, focused tutorials is highly effective as a training tool for ward-based work.


Sam qualified with a masters in Mental Health Nursing from the University of Nottingham in January 2016. Sam has worked in both adult and adolescent inpatient units in the United Kingdom before moving to Sydney in November 2017. Sam is currently based at the Prince of Wales hospital in Sydney and works predominantly in the Mental Health Intensive Care/Enhanced Observations Unit. Sam has a keen interest in psychosis and nursing innovations to improve mental health practice.

For further information on the 19th International Mental Health Conference and to secure your spot please visit





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