Dr Paula Holt

Position: Dean, College of Health and Social Care

College: College of Health and Social Care

Department: Executive

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As Dean of the College of Health and Social Care I Iead and manage a large group of staff across three Departments to develop and deliver a range of high quality health and care programmes that meet the needs of care delivery services for citizens across our region and beyond. All our programmes are developed in collaboration with partners from health and care services, service users/patients, as well as students and many are accredited by Professional bodies.

Our students enjoy an excellent experience at the University. They are recruited for their values as well as their academic ability and are highly employable when they graduate.

I maintain strong partnerships across our region and play an important role in the strategic development of our future health and care workforce. The College proudly supports local and regional projects that benefit our communities.

Teaching responsibilities

Doctoral supervision (Doctor of Health and Social Care Practice)

Professional interests

Health behaviours, mental health, workforce transformation and career pathways.

Research interests

  • Masters Dissertation: Motivation of offenders to change drug related behaviours within a coercive drug treatment setting
  • Doctoral research: Exploring student nurses’ first assessment experience: An illuminative evaluation
  • Education: Research methods, widening participation, beliefs about intelligence, assessment methods, student support
  • Changing health behaviours – including physical activity (and mental health); social cognition models
  • Substance misuse; Mentally disordered offenders; Working with psychological trauma and its sequelae, including Post-traumatic stress disorder.

Membership of professional bodies

  • NMC
  • RCN
  • FHEA
  • Council of Deans of Health.


  • Registered General Nurse
  • Registered Mental Health Nurse
  • ENB 998 Teaching & Assessing in Clinical Practice
  • ENB 812 Care of the Mentally Ill in the Community
  • Diploma in Professional Practice (Greenwich University)
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology: 2.1 (Open University)
  • MSc Health Psychology: Merit (Staffordshire University)
  • Post-graduate Diploma in Professional Education in Healthcare: Distinction (Staffordshire University)
  • Doctor of Education (Sheffield University).

Recent publications

  • Crick P, Davies F and Perkinton L (2014) Student nurses: Why we want to nurse, Nursing Times 109(5), 12-15.

Recent conferences

  • “Identities: Characteristics of the nursing degree student – their perspective on caring and the role of the nurse”. International Reflective Practice Conference 2013, Swansea University, 10th September 2013
  • “Exploring student nurses’ first assessment experience: An illuminative evaluation Findings from study”. Health Factor 2011 conference. Staffordshire University. Tuesday 5th April
  • “Effective Preceptorship: supporting education in practice” National Preceptorship Conference. Wolverhampton. 31st March 2011
  • “Meeting the expectations of the mature student” (Presentation) Learning for Success Conference, Staffordshire University 19th January 2011, Stoke Campus. 16th March 2011, Stafford Campus
  • E-learning in Health and social care. Wrexham. 18th March 2005. Evaluating a Masters level Distance Learning Course
  • 5th World Conference on “Innovations in psychiatry” 1998, London: “The role of Community Psychiatric Nurses in Bosnia and Croatia”
  • First European Conference on Traumatic Stress in Emergency Services, Peacekeeping Operations and Humanitarian Aid Operations, 1996, Sheffield: “Psychological support of British UN troops in Bosnia”
  • NATO DRG Panel 8: October 1995, London: “Workshop on Selecting and Training Personnel for Peacekeeping Operations”.

Additional interests and activities

External examiner: Salford University; London South Bank University.

Experience in industry

I have practiced as a general nurse, mental health nurse and community mental health nurse in the NHS and as an Army Officer.

I am currently an appointed Governor at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Non-executive director of the Primary Care Development Centre.

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