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29 June 2023

Professor Len Bowers and Geoff Brennan recognised in Nursing Times NHS 75 Impact List

Leading mental health nursing staff at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) and the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care (NMPC) at King’s College London have been recognised in the Nursing Times 75 Impact List.

Professor Len Bowers (left), Geoff Brennan (right)
Professor Len Bowers (left), Geoff Brennan (right)

Professor Len Bowers and Geoff Brennan have been acknowledged for their work on the Safewards model.

Professor Len Bowers

Len Bowers, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatric Nursing at King’s IoPPN, is a qualified psychiatric nurse most widely known for leading the team that developed and tested the Safewards model, which provides effective nursing interventions to create safer therapeutic ward environments for inpatient mental health services. Professor Len Bowers has completed more than £4million of grant-funded research and has authored over a hundred peer reviewed publications. He has advised the UK Government on policy issues and contributed to policy guidelines on psychiatric nursing practice. In 2012, Professor Len Bowers recruited Geoff Brennan to work as clinical supervisor of the initial Safewards research trial.

It's been a privilege to lead the great team of researchers who produced Safewards. None of us foresaw the impact it was going to have, at home and abroad. I feel very lucky to be associated with something that has done so much good. However I would like to commend and thank the many thousands of NHS staff and patients who participated in the research that gave us the opportunity to make psychiatric wards safer places around the world.

Professor Len Bowers, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatric Nursing, King’s College London.

Geoff Brennan

Geoff Brennan, Safewards Clinical Supervisor at King’s NMPC, is a registered nurse for learning disabilities and a registered mental health nurse. He has worked clinically in, on and around mental health wards for over 30 years. Geoff has been instrumental in promoting the implementation of Safewards, assisting nurses all over the world to introduce it into their services. The Safewards website has been translated into 10 languages, and work is continuing to expand the use of the model internationally. Geoff also assisted in training and supporting a team from Indonesia in a successful implementation of Safewards and presented Safewards virtually in Mongolia and China. 

Any personal recognition of my work must acknowledge the help and support of nursing, multi-disciplinary and expert by experience colleagues. Nothing would be possible without their passion, skill and dedication. Most important in this are the many compassionate staff, patients, and carers on and in inpatient mental health wards, whose care for each other in the face of huge challenges continues to inspire.

Geoff Brennan, Safewards Clinical Supervisor, King’s College London

In 2023 Geoff and Professor Alan Simpson will be working with nurses in China to implement Safewards.

I have had the great pleasure of knowing and working alongside Len Bowers and Geoff Brennan for over 20 years. Both are outstanding, thoughtful mental health nurses who, in their different ways, have worked to support nurses and others to provide excellent healthcare and to improve the outcomes and lives of people living with mental health problems. This recognition is very well deserved.

Professor Alan Simpson, Professor of Mental Health Nursing, King's College London

The Nursing Times NHS 75 Impact List - a list of 75 nurses and midwives who have contributed in a significant way to the service or are rising stars - has been published to mark the milestone of the 75th anniversary of the National Health Service (NHS), which will take place on 5 July 2023.

Other King’s College London staff who have also been listed on the Impact List are:

  • Dame Sarah Cowley
  • Professor Kevin Gournay

For more information, please contact Barbara Jacobs (IoPPN Communications Officer)

In this story

safewards_Geoff Brennan

Safewards Clinical Supervisor

Alan Simpson

Professor of Mental Health Nursing