School of Nursing
Brook Building, BB434
+44 (0) 1772 89 3637
Subject Areas: Health
Karen leads the School of Nursing at UCLan. She firmly believes that both nurses and educators seek to help the person to be the best they can possibly be, and employs this philosophy throughout her work, both academic and clinical. Karen’s approach is dynamic and innovative as maintaining a contemporary and evidence based approach which is absolutely crucial to ensure that the service user is provided with the best possible approaches to their care.
Karen’s career has spanned over thirty years and has included a diverse range of clinical experience from cardio-thoracic surgery to her last clinical post as Nurse Consultant for Personality Disorder at Ashworth High Security Hospital in Merseycare NHS Trust. In that time, she had lead and developed services which have been transformed both practice and care. Some examples of such evidence based innovation include an in-service training programme in 1996 to enable professionals working in urgent care and mental health services across Chorley and South Ribble around ‘Self harm’ at a time when resources and insight were scarce and care and treatment was poorly informed; a specialised Palliative Care Unit for people in late stage dementia in 1998 and one of the first ‘Crisis Intervention Teams’ in the UK, in 2000, which drew on the findings of her research into ‘How mental health professional perceive crisis’ for her MA in Interprofessional Issues in Health and Welfare.
Since 2003 Karen has worked with colleagues and stakeholders to develop a number of key mental health curricula, including the MSc Personality Disorder, PGCert Investigating Serious Incidents, PGCert Conflict and Violence Minimisation and the major modification of the Pre-registration Nursing Programme in 2016. Nursing is a dynamic and progressive profession and this has motivated Karen to create contemporary and evidence based education and training to enhance the profession and the experience of the service user.
Karen’s PhD thesis ‘An interpretative phenomenological study of the therapeutic relationship occurring between women admitted to eating disorder services and their workers’ established her position that the therapeutic relationship is pivotal to assisting the person with anorexia to commence on their journey to recovery and survival. She continues to work in a consultancy role for an in-patient Eating Disorder Service, ensuring that evidence based practice is delivered and that her work is grounded in the real experience of service users, their families and their care team.
In addition to her educational leadership and clinical consultancy Karen currently voluntarily provides Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to UCLan students experiencing mental health difficulties, referred through the innovative Student Services’ Mental health advisor service.
Karen is currently Director of Studies for 4 doctoral students and second supervisor for 4 others. She is a qualitative researcher with specific expertise in phenomenology, ethnography and grounded theory.
McKeown, M., Wright, KM, Mercer D. (2017) Care planning: a neoliberal three card trick Journal of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing ISSN 1351-0126
McKeown, M., Chandley, M., Jones, F., Wright, K., Duxbury, J. and Foy, P. (2016) Explorations of cooperation and recalcitrance in secure mental health hospitals. European Psychiatry, 33, p.S462.
Mckeown, M. Wright, K.M. et al (2016) It’s the talk: A study of involvement initiatives in secure mental health settings. Health Expectations. 19 (3) 570–579 Available at http://clok.uclan.ac.uk/11937/
Wright, KM & Schroeder, D. (2016) Turning the Tables: The Vulnerability of Nurses Treating Anorexia Nervosa Patients. Cambridge Quarterly. 25 (2) 219-227
McKeown, M., Edgar, F., Foy, P. Wright, KM (2016) Looking back, looking forward: Recovery journeys in a high secure hospital International journal of mental health nursing 25(3) DOI: 10.1111/inm.12204
Emma Jones & Wright, K.M. (2015) ‘They’re really PD today’: An exploration of mental health nursing students’ perceptions of developing a therapeutic relationship with service users with a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology first published on July 13, 2015 as doi:10.1177/0306624X15594838
Baverstock S and Wright K.M. (2015) Borderline personality disorder in young people: the perspectives of frontline professionals in child and adolescent mental health. Mental Health Nursing 35(4): 14-19.
Wright K (2000) How do Professionals Working within Mental Health Services Perceive Crisis Unpublished, Ethnomethological Study for MA: Interprofessional Issues in Health and Welfare
To ascertain what factors influence the police decision to remove a person from a public place to a place of safety under Section 136 (Mental Health Act 1983) Principal Investigator: Karen Wright Co-investigator: Ivan McGlen 2008
The administration of medication on acute in-patient mental health wards: Principal Investigator: Joy Duxbury, Co-investigators: Karen Wright, (UCLan) & Catherine Fewster, Chief Pharmacist Lancashire Care Foundation Trust. Submitted to the British Academy - £80,000 FEC. 2006
An Evaluation of the Implementation, Management and Impact of service user involvement initiatives in secure care, Yorkshire & Humber. PI: Mick Mckeown. Co-investigators: Helen Spandler, Fiona Jones, Graham Browning. 2012
Service user involvement in forensic care. PI: McKeown M. Co-investigators: Spandler H, Pilgrim D & Duxbury, J. Funded by Yorkshire Secure Services Commissioning Team. 2013
PhD study: A phenomenological study of the therapeutic relationships between women with anorexia and their workers within an eating disorder service. PI: Karen Wright 2013
Gauging the relative impact of night confinement in a High Secure Hospital (GRINCH)
Chu, S., McNeill, K., Wright, K.M. Hague, A. & Wilkins, T. PI Simon Chu 2014
Qualitative study of extreme coercive measures. PI: McKeown, Co-investigators: M., Chandley, M., Jones, F., & Duxbury, J. Ashworth Hospital/Mersey Care NHS Trust. 2015
Facilitating Change in Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT) for Personality Disorder: Patients' and Therapists' Perspectives. PI: Kathryn Gardener CI Karen Wright 2015- ongoing
Karen provides doctoral supervision for mental health studies using qualitative methods, and specifically, phenomenology. She also teaches on personality disorder, eating disorder and self-harm.
External Professional Activity
Journal Reviewer for:
Distinguished visitor to :
Conference presentations: (Last 5 years)
British and Irish Group of the Study of Personality Disorders
17th Annual Conference. British and Irish Group of the Study of Personality Disorders. Douglas, Isle of Man. 15th to 17th march 2016
Three oral presentations:
22nd International Network for Psychiatric Nursing (NPNR) Research Conference. Nottingham.
15th and 16th September 2016:
Oral presentation: 'Once upon a time I would have knocked his lights out'. Wright, K., Gardner, K., Elliott, A.
9th European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry “Advancing knowledge – Transforming Practice” Oct 2015:
Poster: Co-productivity- a cross agency partnership for education and skills acquisition: the TEAM course (‘Teaching Effective Aggression Management’)
Wright, K., Sinclair, T. & Harbison, I.
International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services
RISKS-RIGHTS-RESPONSIBILITIES: INNOVATIONS IN FORENSIC MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES June 2015
Workshop: ‘Safety in MIND’ Cross-organisational training to improve patient safety in crisis and restraint. Wright, K., Hammond, N.
21st International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research Conference
“Building new relationships in mental health nursing: opportunities and challenges”
Oral presentation: I was perfect just the way I was. The therapeutic relationship between women with anorexia and their workers. Toronto General Hospital, CA. Wright, KM. June 2014
Oral presentation: Recovery stories in high secure settings. International Association of Forensic Mental Health conference. Toronto June 2014. Mckeown M, Jones F, Wright K.M et al
Oral presentation: A study into attitudes towards violence and aggression in a high security hospital International Association of Forensic Mental Health conference. Toronto, CA June 2014. Wright, K.M. et al
Oral presentation: A qualitative study into the attitudes of patients and staff towards violence in a high security hospital
8th European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry. Ghent, Belgium. October 2013. Wright, K.M., Duxbury, J., Baker, A. & Crumpton, A.
Oral presentation: Phenomenology, the toast story and the experience of interviewing women with anorexia and their workers. Mental Health Qualitative Research Network 23rd September Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for Quality Improvement. London Wright, K.M.
Oral presentation: Aspiration: If I can do it, so can you! Student Research Conference, School of Health. May 2013 Wright, K.M.
Oral presentation: ‘Tears and tantrums, angels and demons’ The lived experience of the therapeutic relationship between women with anorexia and their workers. RCN 2013 international nursing research conference. Belfast, Ireland. Wednesday 20 – Friday 22 March 2013 Wright, K. M.
Oral presentation: Liberation from Secure Services. Self harm and recovery: minimising harm and maximising hope. Westleigh Conference Centre , Sept 2012 Wright, K.M. & Jones, F.
Oral presentation: You might not tell them, but there’s always a reason. 18th International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research Mental Health Nursing and Research Through the ages . Wednesday 26 – Thursday 27 September 2012. Keble College, Oxford University . A study into the constructions of self harm by women in a forensic service. Baker, A, Wright, K.M. & Hansen, E.
Oral presentation: A phenomenological study of the therapeutic relationship between women admitted to eating disorder services and their care-workers 18th International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research Mental Health Nursing and Research...Through the ages . Wednesday 26 – Thursday 27 September 2012. Keble College, Oxford University. Wright, K.M.
Oral presentation: Phenomenology: entering the lifeworld of the anorexic and their workers Midwifery Postgraduate Seminar - 12th September 2012. UCLan. Wright, K. M.
Oral presentation: Scratching the surface: Developing Healthy Working relationships with People with Borderline Personality Disorder who Self Harm: re-adjusting perceptions. Comensus Conference, Wright, K.M. & Jones, F.