I am a Senior Lecturer in Learning Disability Nursing and I am passionate about ensuring people with learning disabilities maintain their holistic health and wellbeing and live their lives as fully and independently as possible. This involves:
- Supporting student nurses to realise their personal and professional aspirations and maximise their potential.
- Raising awareness and promoting learning disability nursing as a profession and a practice.
- Working in partnership with people with learning disabilities and their families/carers.
- Engaging with practice learning partners.
- Contributing to the growth and development of the evidence-base for learning disability nursing.
I am currently part of the MSc Pre-registration nursing programme team and the programme leader for the MSc Nursing (Learning Disabilities) with registration programme. I am also involved in teaching on the BSc(hons) nursing programmes.
I am interested in all research areas relevant to people with a learning disability. After completing my MSc dissertation in 2008 exploring the subject of violence and aggression within learning disability services, I have continued to conduct further research into this area.
I am also particularly interested in service provision and the involvement of people with learning disabilities in the design and delivery of health and social care services and education.
Membership of professional bodies
I am registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a learning disability nurse (1996) and a nurse teacher (2009).
I am an expert committee member of the Health Research Authority National Reseach Ethics Service (HRA NRES).
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and a member of the Royal College of Nursing.
In the last few years, I have presented at many different conferences in the UK and across Europe on the subject of violence and aggression and how this is understood by people with learning disabilities and the health and social care professionals working in learning disability services.
In 2014, I organised and chaired the 2nd Conference on Intellectual Disability and Criminal Justice at the University of Chester which brought together key stakeholders from a variety of disciplines to discuss the achievements and challenges faced by people with a learning disability who come into contact with the criminal justice system.
More recently, I have been involved in organising and presenting at conferences celebrating 100 years of learning disability nursing, examining the past, discussing the present and planning for the future of our unique profession.
Experience in industry
Prior to becoming a lecturer, I worked in a range of learning disability service settings including:
- Residential care
- Respite provision
- Assessment and treatment
- Specialist forensic learning disability inpatient services.
European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS) Summer School Graduate (2014)
Additional interests and activities
This is an exciting time to be a nurse as we celebrate 100 years of learning disability nursing and 2020 has been declared as 'The year of the nurse and midwife' by the World Health Organisation in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. For further information about how we are celebrating and raising awareness, please visit Uni Learning Disability Nursing Rocks!
In 2015, I had the privilege of being the guest editor of a special edition of the Journal of Intellectual Disability and Offending Behaviour (JIDOB). I used this opportunity to work with a range of clinical practice partners to produce the "Intellectual Disabilities: Nursing" edition which was published in June 2016. The special edition is available at: https://www.emerald.com/insight/publication/issn/2050-8824/vol/7/iss/2
Other journal articles include:
- Skellern, J. and Astbury, G. (2014), Gaining employment: The experience of students at a further education college for individuals with learning disabilities. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42(1), pp. 58-65.
- McNelly, B., Keane, C., Fisher, L., Lindley, R., Mayne, R. and Skellern, J. (2013). Learning Disability and Risk seminar: A group reflection using ‘Six Thinking Hats’. New Scholar: The Journal for Undergraduates in Health and Cocial Care, 1(1), pp. 42-47.
- Lovell, A. and Skellern, J. (2013). ‘Tolerating violence’: a qualitative study into the experience of professionals working in one UK learning disability service. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 22(15-16), pp. 2264–2272.
- Lovell, A., Skellern, J. and Mason, T. (2011), Violence and under-reporting: Learning disability nursing and the impact of environment, experience and banding, Journal of Clinical Nursing, 20(23-24), pp. 3304-3312.
- Skellern, J. and Lovell, A. (2008), The discrepancy between actual and unreported incidents of violence in a learning disability service, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice (Special Edition), 5(2), pp. 192-209. ISSN 1743-6885
- Lovell, A. and Skellern, J. (2012), Intellectual Disability and Autism: A Life History Approach to Understanding Self-Injury, In: Columbus, A. M. (Ed), Advances in Psychology Research, 92, New York: NOVA Publishers.
- Skellern, J. (2010) Employment, In Talbot, P., Astbury, G. and Mason, T. (Eds), Key Concepts in Learning Disabilities, London: Sage. ISBN: 978-1-84860-635-7.
- Skellern, J., Ivanka, T. and Treslova, M. (2015). Violence in health and social care settings training resource package: A multicentre evaluation study. In: Proceedings of the 9th European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry. Amsterdam: Kavanah.
- Skellern, J. and Lovell, A. (2013), Violence in Health and Social Care Settings: A training resource package for organisations and individuals. In: Needham, I., Nijman, H., Palmstierna, T., Almvik, R. and Oud, N. (Eds) Proceedings of the 8th European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry. Amsterdam: Kavanah.
- Skellern, J. and Lovell, A. (2011), Learning disability and violence: The conclusions from a trilogy of studies. In: Needham, I., Nijman, H., Palmstierna, T., Almvik, R. and Oud, N. (Eds) Proceedings of the 7th European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry. Amsterdam: Kavanah.
- Lovell, A. and Skellern, J. (2010), Investigation of the development of a ‘career’ of aggressive behaviour by people with learning disabilities. In: I.Needham, K.Mckenna, M.Kingma and N.Oud (Eds) Violence in the Health sector: Proceedings of the second International Conference on Violence in the Health Sector – From Awareness to Sustainable Action Amsterdam: Kavanah.
- Lovell, A. and Skellern, J. (2009), Tolerating violence: a follow-up study to a survey identifying the extent of and reasons for the non-reporting of incidents of aggression in one NHS Trust. In: Needham, I., Callaghan, P., Palmstierna, T., Nijman, H. and Oud, N. (Eds) Proceedings of the 6th European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry. Amsterdam: Kavanah.
- Lovell. A and Skellern. J. (2008) A study investigating the discrepancy between actual and reported incidents of violence and aggression perpetrated by service users against nursing staff in one NHS learning disability service. In: Needham, I., Kingma, M. , O’Brien-Pallas, L., McKenna, K., Tucker, R. and Oud, N. (Eds) Proceedings of the first International Conference on Workplace Violence in the Health sector: Together, Creating a Safe Working Environment. Amsterdam: Kavanah.